David S. Jenney, 87
David was raised in Mattapoisett and was the valedictorian of the Fairhaven High School Class of '49. David graduated from Worcester Polytechnical Institute in 1953 with a Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering and many honors including Tau Beta PI, Skull, Sigma XI and the A.T.O. District award. He immediately began his 40 year career at Sikorsky Aircraft, first at the United Technologies Research Labs and later transferring to Sikorsky Aircraft’s development and production facility in Stratford. David retired from Sikorsky in 1993 as the Director of Technical Engineering and during his retirement celebration was referred to as the “father of the Black Hawk Helicopter” due to his work designing new airfoils, vibration dampening and the revolutionary canted tail rotor which were all incorporated into the Black Hawk’s design. After leaving Sikorsky, David and Janet retired to their dream home in lovely Mattapoisett.
David was a strong believer in continuing education, and took night classes while working full time at Sikorsky. He eventually obtained his Masters of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and his PhD in Mechanics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
David met the love of his life, Janet, while racing Herreshoff-12 sailboats on Buzzards Bay. Their lifelong love for the water and sailing brought them together first as racing opponents, then racing partners, and finally as husband and wife in 1953. Throughout their 65 years of marriage, their love for each other was deep, pure, and inspiring to their family and friends.
David was a dedicated Eagle Scout, and as an adult, was engaged in Explorer Scouts. He was also involved in organizations such as the Couples Club, Interfaith Council, Mattapoisett Yacht Club, Mattapoisett Bike Path Committee, Cleveland Ledge Associates and was the editor for the American Helicopter Society Magazine International for several years. David believed strongly in giving to the community and sponsored many children across the world as part of Plan International USA, and volunteered his time doing taxes for the elderly in local towns. In 2009, David was awarded the Wanderer Keel Award for his many contributions to the local community.
Of all of the achievements in his life, the one he was most proud of was being a loving husband, father and grandfather. His family was the center of his world and he did not take that for granted, but took time to enjoy life with them. He was a child at heart and enjoyed countless hours of family time sailing and windsurfing on Buzzards Bay, swimming at Crescent Beach, hiking and camping on Strawberry Point.
David is survived by his wife, Janet Jenney of Mattapoisett, his three children Laurel Carlson of North Attleboro, Faith Ball of Mattapoisett, John Jenney and his wife Diana of Southbury CT, his four grandchildren, Catherine and Samantha Ball of Mattapoisett and Spencer Jenney of Southbury CT, Ashley Ghent and great-grandchild Jonathan Nuniez of Stratford CT.
His visiting hours will be held on Friday March 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett. His funeral service will be held on Saturday March 30 at 10 a.m. at the Mattapoisett Congregational Church. Burial will follow at the Pine Island Cemetery in Mattapoisett.