Obituary of Rudolph J. Joenk Jr.
Rudolph John Joenk, Jr. Ph.D., of Boulder passed away Nov. 5, 2018 of natural causes. He was 86.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, 2425 Colorado Ave. in Boulder, the Rev. Mary Kate Réjouis officiating. The U.S. Army will perform full military honors.
Dr. Joenk was born Aug. 17, 1932 in St. Louis, Missouri to Rudolph John Joenk, Sr. and Hannah Daisy O’Bannon. He graduated from Beaumont High School in St. Louis.
He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1953 and the University of Washington in Seattle with a master’s degree in physics in 1957. He earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1962.
He was married to Carolyn K. Wimber from 1953 to 1985. They had five children.
Dr. Joenk served in the Ordnance Corps of the U.S. Army Reserve, rising to the rank of captain before his honorable discharge in April 1964.
He had a long and illustrious career with IBM, starting with the company in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. in 1962 and retiring in 1993 in Boulder. He served as editor of the IBM Journal and the IBM Journal of Research and Development for many years.
Rudy served for many years as the company’s representative to the International Electrical and Electronic Engineers’ Professional Communications Society, where he was editor of IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication from 1977-84, served as president from 1990-91 and received the IEEE’s Outstanding Service Award in 1991. The IEEE created the Rudolph J. Joenk, Jr. award for best paper in his honor.
He had numerous publications and public presentations to his credit, ranging from “A Sense of Humor in Technical Communication” to “An Engineer by Any Other Name” and user’s guides for Workstation software.
He was elected mayor of Ossining, N.Y. and served two terms from 1971 through 1974. He also was a long-time active member of Trinity Episcopal Church and the president of the Inter Faith Council for Action (IFCA) in Ossining from 1970 to 1972.
Rudy is survived by his sons Steven M. Joenk and his wife Susan of New York City, Brian T. Joenk (Jacqueline) of Chicago and David A. Joenk of Burbank, Calif.; daughters Donna M. Arkush and her husband Daniel of Vernon Hills, Ill. and Linda C. Bellitt (Mark) of Louisville; a brother, Paul Joenk and his wife Chris of East Longmeadow, Mass.; and Carolyn K. Joenk of Vernon Hills, Ill.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org or 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601, or St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, saintaidans.org or 2425 Colorado Ave., Boulder, CO 80302.