John Cosgrove

John C. "Jack" Cosgrove

1916 - 2011

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Obituary of John C. "Jack" Cosgrove

John C. "Jack" Cosgrove, 95, of State College, died Tuesday, September 20, 2011, at The Fairways at Brookline Village. Born in Johnstown on April 8, 1916, he was a son of the late John C. and Florence Neff Cosgrove. In May 1989, he married Helen O'Neill, who survives. He is also survived by two step-children, John O'Neill and his wife, Machelle, of State College, and Beth Wintermute and her husband, Edwin, of Arnold, Md.; seven step-grandchildren; two nieces, a nephew, and several grand-nieces. Along with his parents, he was predeceased by a brother, Patrick Cosgrove, and two sisters, Margaret Weaver and Betty Cosgrove. He was a retired Mining Engineer who enlisted in the South African Army in 1940 and rose through the ranks to lieutenant in the Engineers and Survey Service. He began his career in the engineering Department of Koppers Coal Co. in Mount Hope, W.Va., leaving there in January 1939 to work in the New Consolidated Gold Fields in South Africa in the efficiency department doing research on drilling methods Mr. Cosgrove joined the South African Army on June 19, 1940. Less than two weeks later he and the rest of his company were dispatched to British East Africa and stationed in Nairobi, Kenya. His work there involved surveying and mapping the border between the Italian and British colonies He was next dispatched to the Western Desert with instructions to prepare detailed large scale maps of the proposed last defense line from the Mediterranean Sea to the Qattara Depression He subsequently provided mapping service and special survey service to all Army branches of the South African Army and was attached to the U.S. Army in Italy. After returning to the US, he entered private business in Johnstown, joining Goodman Manufacturing, a company that manufactured coal mining machinery. After acting as a sales engineer and assistant district manager he became the district manager for all machinery sales and renewal parts sales and service. In 1971, he moved to Chicago as product manager for coal mining machinery and worked in this capacity until his retirement. He was an active member of the State College Presbyterian Church and State College Rotary, and was very active in the Theta Phi Alpha fraternity at Penn State. A private burial will be at Umbria Cemetery in Osceola Mills. A memorial service will be held at a future date. Memorial contributions may be made to the State College Presbyterian Church, 132 West Beaver Ave., State College, PA 16801.
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