William Wooldridge Jahnke was born June 8, 1926 to Fredrick and Ethel (Wooldridge) Jahnke in Ipswich, MA. His mother, Ethel, was a graduate teaching assistant at one time to the American poet, Robert Frost. His father, Fredrick, owned a motel business in Rowley, MA. His maternal grandfather and namesake, William Wooldridge, who emigrated from England, was a personal tailor to President Theodore Roosevelt.
William W. Jahnke is preceded in death by two older sisters, Grace and Charlotte, each for whose salvation he had ceaselessly prayed until their respective deaths. He married S. June Strader, the daughter of Rev. Wilbur and Ethel Strader (former MV residents), on October 23, 1953, at the First Baptist Church of Rowley, MA, and made their first home in Newburyport, MA. June survives with their three children, Rachel J. Waite (David), Mark E. Jahnke (Cindy), and Paul A. Jahnke, along with nine grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. William trusted in Christ as his Savior at age 12, and was baptized then. He graduated from Ipswich High School in 1944, and served in the United States Army Air Forces for two and a half years during WW2, and was trained as a B-17 tail-gunner. Upon his discharge, he matriculated at, and then graduated from, Bentley School of Accounting and Finance (now Bentley University) in Boston. It was there, after having drifted spiritually, that he renewed his fellowship with the Lord. He then held accounting positions at Nabisco in Denver, CO, and at Simplex Wire and Cable Co. in Newington, NH.
Early in 1961, Dr. G. Arthur Woolsey, then president of Baptist Bible Seminary, Johnson City, NY, asked him to consider the position of Business Manager at the school. Bill accepted the post that summer, taking the school out of its indebtedness at the time, and thus beginning his 28-year long association with the college, ending in the position of Vice President of Financial Affairs. For that entire time, Bill helped keep BBS/BBC "in the black" with its many financial challenges. He was also instrumental in helping the college find and relocate to its new campus in Clarks Summit, PA in 1967-68. Many times, he would fall to his knees at his office desk, asking the Lord for wisdom in his overwhelming responsibilities. Bill ended his tenure with BBC in 1989.
Bill and June have been Maranatha Village residents for 25 years, having begun a part-time residency here in 1992, and then becoming full-time residents in 1999. Bill served as a village board member for ten years, as well as several terms as a deacon for MBC. He has served as a deacon and Sunday School teacher in all the churches in which the Jahnkes have been members. Bill has been particularly known over the years for his unique and personal piano style, playing by ear. He was especially blessed in a Christian service opportunity here at MBC, joining Ed Micka and others in the Lake Placid Nursing Home ministry. Bill would play hymns and songs on a portable keyboard for the residents, going from room to room. He and Ed had the joy of leading several seniors to the Lord, one of them at the age of 101.
William W. Jahnke met his Savior, dying peacefully at home, on Saturday afternoon, June 3, 2017, with June at his side. Awaiting the resurrection of the body (I Cor. 15:51-57), he has been interred at Sarasota National Cemetery with military honors and a committal service conducted by his son-in-law, along with two pastors of Maranatha Baptist Church.
"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints" (Ps.116:15).
The family has requested that gifts in memory of Bill Jahnke be given to MARANATHA BAPTIST CHURCH designated for the Missions Special Project Fund
Condolences or Life Stories may be expressed in his Guestbook. Morris Funeral Chapel, Sebring, Fl.
Preceded In Death By
S. June Strader Jahnke, Wife
Rachel J. Waite (David), Daughter
Mark E. Jahnke (Cindy), Son
Paul A. Jahnke, Son
Six Great Grandchildren
Place Of Birth: Ipswich, MA.
Place Of Death: Sebring, FL
Date Of Death: June 3, 2017
A veteran of the United States Air Force
Awaiting the resurrection of the body
(I Cor. 15:51-57), he has been interred
at Sarasota National Cemetery with military
honors and a committal service conducted by
his son-in-law, along with two pastors of
Maranatha Baptist Church.