The family of Jack Shenk mourns the passing of our beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was a man of integrity, self-determination, a quiet confidence, a generous heart, and a deep faith in G-d. He had successful careers as a business owner and real estate professional, but, central to his life, were his family and his passions for music and volunteerism. After living a full and fulfilling life, Jack died at the age of 96 on Feb. 3, 2023.
Jack was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., the second oldest of five children of Joseph and Rose Shenkoff. His father, a concert violinist and orchestra conductor, operated the New Street Haberdashery shop in lower Manhattan.
Jack started to play the drums as a teenager. He performed with orchestras at clubs in New York City and hotels in the Catskill Mountains. He met Marcelle (Marcy) Broder while playing at her uncle’s hotel. In the fall of 1950, Jack entered the Army and was deployed to Germany. He played drums and served as principal in the percussion section of the 7th Army Symphony, which performed throughout Germany.
Jack married Marcy in New York in January 1953. They moved to Atlanta and soon met other young couples who became lifelong friends. He purchased a rug cleaning business, and the family grew to three children. Seeing potential in the real estate profession, Jack became a real estate agent, first with residential and then, commercial properties. Marcy, a teacher at the Hebrew Academy (now the Atlanta Jewish Academy), also received her real estate license. Upon becoming a real estate broker, Jack and Marcy opened their own commercial real estate company.
Jack was an active person, swimming, playing racquetball and golf, and working out regularly at the fitness center. He enjoyed sharing flowers from his garden and watching his bird house tenants come and go. Jack and Marcy were longtime synagogue members of Beth Jacob Atlanta.
They loved to travel and took many wonderful trips abroad. In December 2002, they participated in a memorable humanitarian mission to Cuba, bringing much needed medical supplies to doctors and visiting the Jewish communities.
For over 20 years, Jack and Marcy brought joy to the residents of The William Breman Jewish Home, hosting a weekend entertainment program featuring music, singing, and dancing. The Shenks took their music programs to other Atlanta senior centers as well. Sadly, Marcy, passed away in 2008; they had been married over 55 years.
Because he strongly believed in the ability of music to sharpen the intellect and awaken the spirit, Jack provided a music fund for each of his grandchildren so they could select an instrument of their choice and take lessons.
Jack loved playing in the percussion section of the Callanwolde Concert Band, which he joined in 1992. He served as director of development and rarely missed a practice or performance. For his over 25 years of participation and dedication, Jack was awarded the inaugural Director’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Callanwolde Concert Band.
He became a student again, taking classes at Senior University at Mercer. As a volunteer on the curriculum committee, he coordinated a popular class called “Speaker’s Choice,” scheduling speakers from political, medical, and financial fields, as well as representatives from foreign consulates in Atlanta.
In recognition of all his dedicated volunteer service involvements in the community, Jack was awarded the AARP Andrus Award for Community Service for the State of Georgia in September 2011.
Jack moved to Holbrook Decatur in October 2019, shortly after it opened. He made many friends while living in his independent living apartment. He worked out at the fitness center, enjoyed numerous activities, and was well-known as the chief BINGO caller.
Jack provided much love, wisdom, guidance, and wonderful memories to his devoted children: Mindy and Jack Hyman, Paul and Ilana Shenk, and Connie and Ian Pollack. He had a loving and fun relationship with each of his eight grandchildren: Daniel and Lauren Hyman, Joseph Hyman, Kochava and Gabriel Joel, Tzina and Moshe Fishman, Rafi and Aviva Shenk, Avital and Binyamin Goetz, Ben and Alison Pollack, and Andy and Rebecca Pollack. He leaves behind a great legacy in his 24 great-grandchildren.
He is remembered with love by his sister, Lorraine Hirsch; his Atlanta relatives, Fred and Glenda Broder, Jeanette Dankberg, Shaindle Schmuckler and their families; and a host of nieces and nephews around the country.
Graveside services were held on Feb. 5, 2023, at Crest Lawn Memorial Park with Rabbi Ilan Feldman officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Beth Jacob Atlanta, 1855 Lavista Road, Atlanta, GA 30329 (www.bethjacobatlanta.org) or to the charitable organization of your choice. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
- New Street Haberdashery shop
- Catskill Mountains
- 7th Army Symphony
- Hebrew Academy
- Beth Jacob
- William Breman Jewish Home
- Callanwolde Concert Band
- Director’s Award for Outstanding Service
- Senior University at Mercer
- AARP Andrus Award for Community Service
- Holbrook Decatur
- Crest Lawn Memorial Park
- Rabbi Ilan Feldman
- Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care