Skip to main content

George Jenks

The campus community mourns the passing of George Jenks, who died on Friday, July 13.  George worked in L&IT for 24 years before retiring in 1991.

Included below is the complete text of the obituary, as provided by the family.

You are encouraged to visit our In Memoriam Site at and share personal notes of sympathy and remembrance with others.

On behalf of our entire University community, I extend our deepest sympathies to George’s family, as well as to all who knew him at Bucknell.


John C. Bravman


George M. Jenks, 89, died July 13, 2018, in Lewisburg, after succumbing to cancer. He was born in Purcell, Okla., Aug. 1, 1929, son of Darrell C. and Muriel D. Jenks.

George learned the trade of Linotype operator at the Purcell Register, which served him well, working his way through college. He earned a BA, MA and MLS from the University of Oklahoma. George served in the Marine Corps as an enlisted man in the 5th Marines. He was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received in the battle of the Chinese spring offensive in 1953. After his discharge he moved to Merida, Yucatan, for several months.

George then returned to the U.S., where he attended graduate school at UCLA, where he met his future wife, Zoya Hochstein. He was briefly in the CIA, and taught Spanish and French at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces for a year. He was a librarian at the Queens Borough Library in New York City, and spent three years as a librarian at California State University, Northridge. George was also Acting University Librarian at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. He returned to the U.S. in 1966 to serve as University Librarian of Bucknell University, from where he retired.

George was predeceased by his son, Darrell; and his sister, Elizabeth.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Zoya; his sons, Mark, and family, of Seattle, Wash.; and Andrew, and family, of Fullerton, Calif.; his daughter-in-law, Thelma, Darrell’s widow, and family of Baltimore, Md.; and his cat, Figaro.

George was a tribal member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, a lifelong Democrat and devout atheist.

2 Responses to “George Jenks”

  1. peeler says:

    George Jenks

    He grew up the son of a small-town newspaperman in Oklahoma. He knew the linotype, but he was among the least type-cast people you’ll ever meet. Even though his dad was from Texas, George always denied that he had a southern—or Texas—accent. He was offended that you should think so. Tall and always short-haired, he looked like your typical Oklahoma redneck, but he was a lifelong atheist and proud of it. He had a ball cap that proclaimed it. He was proud of having served with the Marines in combat in Korea—wounded, but he rarely talked about that. The palest of palefaces, he was a certified member of the Potawatomi tribe. A committed civil libertarian and ACLU member, he strongly supported sensible regulation of guns. He had a trial run with the CIA (he couldn’t talk about that) before coming to his senses and becoming a librarian. Among his many lost causes were trains.

    Somehow he managed to get from Oklahoma to southern California, where he met and married Zoya, the daughter of Russian Jewish (but atheist) immigrants. They had three sons, each of whom made his own way to distinction.

    Among other destinations, they spent some time in Tasmania before settling in Lewisburg, where both worked in the Bucknell Library (which George directed for over a decade).

    Active members of the community for over fifty years, they enjoyed good music (old, mostly), good movies (all old), good wine (well-aged), and good friends (also aged, sometimes well).

  2. hblair says:

    John, you couldn’t have said it better. George was a wonderful part of the Bucknell community who lived his life by his values in a way that served as a constant inspiration to all his many friends.