Donald L. Jeka, Sr., previously of Mountainside, NJ, aged 94, died on January 19, 2023.
A memorial service is set for March 4, 1PM, at Community Presbyterian Church in Mountainside, NJ.
He is survived by sons, Donald L. (Alison) Jeka, Jr. and Paul Kimbel (Michele) Jeka; his grandchildren, Victoria Jeka and Donald L. Jeka III; his sister, Gloria Boersch; many nieces and nephews; and close family friend, Kelly McCormick. His beloved wife of 55 years, Yvonne, predeceased him in 2013 on Christmas Day.
Don was a retired public relations executive with Burson Marsteller International, joining the firm in 1964 after a decade with Union Carbide in its Haynes Stellite Division. He held a journalism degree from University of Miami, 1954, and was editor of the college weekly newspaper, The Miami Hurricane.
He served with the United States Marine Corps, enlisting in 1946 then served in China in 1947 and 1948. He was called back to active service in 1950 during the Korean conflict. He was an instructor in the Ordnance School at Quantico from 1950-51. Don was a member of the Mountainside Board of Education and the Town Planning Board. He served as an elder of the Community Presbyterian Church in Mountainside and was a two- time member of the Historical Preservation Committee.
Don enjoyed sailing with friends and family on his yachts beginning with a Pintail, then Aloha, Columbia, Maki, Windfall, and Santana. He also was an avid racer while crewing aboard other notable and successful programs with his son, Paul, on Raritan Bay, Long Island Sound, and Bermuda. He held a USCG Master License for operating vessels up to 100 tons. Memberships in sailing included the Old Red Bank Yacht Club, Keyport Yacht Club and Summit Yacht Club.
Other memberships included Public Relations Society of America, International Public Relations Association,
International Press Association, and International Advertising Association. He was also a member of the China Marine Association; Marine Corps League; Marine Corps Heritage Foundation; VFW post 10136; and the Summit Old Guard. In 2016 he was appointed to the Board of Directors of FIM, Foundation for Innovation in Medicine.
All his adult life, with the support of his wife, he found time to engage in his two other passions besides sailing…writing and painting. He was published in the two major sailing publications plus the two major newspapers on Long Beach Island among other print outlets. His sons’ houses in New Hampshire and Atlantic Highlands became a literal art gallery for his watercolors.