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William H. Jenkins, 73, NSA executive, instructor


William Harry Jenkins, a retired National Security Agency executive and cryptographer, died of cancer Friday at Chesapeake Hospice House in Linthicum. The Millersville resident was 73.

Born in Baltimore and raised in the Brooklyn section, he was a 1948 graduate of City College and served in the Army.

He earned a pre-law degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and in 1953 graduated with a diploma in Russian language studies from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif. He received his law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1958.

Mr. Jenkins worked for NSA for 36 years and held senior posts, including inspector general and chief of its European operations based in Stuttgart, Germany.

He was also a graduate of the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., and National War College in Fort McNair, Va., where he taught. He was later commandant of the National Cryptologic School near Fort Meade. His last NSA post was director of installations and logistics.

"Dad was a man of extraordinary intellect, a man with a profound sense of purpose and commitment," said his daughter, Grace Jenkins Powers of Naperville, Ill. "He was not the loud, flashy kind of patriot that waves the flag or sings out loud. He was the career servant who quietly gave of himself to make this a safer, stronger nation."

After retiring in 1987, he became a security consultant and had a Millersville law practice.

He enjoyed skiing and playing 1930s and 1940s songs on the piano.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife of 52 years, the former Shirley Gunther; another daughter, Amy Mataban of Finksburg; a sister, Dorothy Freeland of Lansdowne; and three grandchildren.

Services were held yesterday at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Crownsville, where he was a member.

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