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Duerksen, Jacob A. (1895-1986) | Mennonite Archival Commons

Name: Duerksen, Jacob A. (1895-1986)

Historical Note:

<em>Mennonite Weekly Review</em> obituary:

Jacob A. Duerksen was born on Oct. 17, 1895, in Marion County, Kan., to Gerhard J. and Marie Woelk Duerksen. He died on April 2, 1986, at the age of 90 in the Hermitage, a retirement home in Alexandria, Va. In 1980, he was preceded in death by his wife, Louise Schmidt Duerksen, to whom he had been married 59 years.

He graduated from Bethel College, North Newton, Kan., in 1922, and also attended Pomona College, Claremont, Calif. While there he participated in the Pomona Solar Expedition to Catalina Island in California in 1923.

In 1925 he joined the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in Washington, D. C., where he served as mathematician and geodecist until his retirement in 1963. He was the author of the government publication, "Deflections of the Vertical in the United States."

He was a life member of the Mathematical Association of America and the American Geophysical Union. He was also a member of the Philosophical Society of Washington, D. C., the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping, and the Washington Academy of Science.

In 1930 he transferred his church membership from the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church near Goessel, Kan., to the First Congregational Church in Washington, D. C., where he was an active member.

In 1963, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Bethel College.

During retirement he did research at the National Archives on various aspects of Mennonite history and genealogy. Several papers were presented in Mennonite publications.

Survivors include three daughters, Eleanor (Mrs. Herman Karl) Saalbach of Springfield, Va., Sylvia Duerksen and Vera Mae Duerksen, both of Washington, D. C.; a son-in-law, Herman Karl Saalbach; three grandchildren; two great-grandsons; five brothers, George, Ernest, Adolph and August Duerksen, all of Goessel, and Alvin of Newton; and one sister, Elsie (Mrs. Anton) Schmidt of Goessel. He was preceded in death by one brother and three sisters.

A memorial service was conducted at First Congregational Church in Washington, D. C., on April 6, 1986, and burial was in Fort Lincoln Cemetery in Brentwood, Md.

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