John H. Zink
John H. Zink (Baltimore Sun)

John H. Zink Jr., a retired mechanical engineer and contractor who enjoyed playing gin rummy going to the beach, died July 3 of an apparent heart attack. He was 95.

Mr. Zink was lunching and playing cards with friends at the Green Spring Club when he was stricken with a heart attack. He was taken to Northwest Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, family members said.


The son of John Henry Zink, founder of the Heat & Power Corp., and Isabelle Greer Seipp Zink, a homemaker, John Henry Zink Jr. was born in Baltimore and raised at Mayfair, his family's farm, which is now the site of the Mays Chapel community in Timonium.

Mr. Zink, who was known as Jack, was a 1937 graduate of Polytechnic Institute and earned a degree in engineering in three years from Cornell University in 1940.

During World War II, Mr. Zink, who attained the rank of lieutenant, served in the Navy and taught engineering at the Naval Academy.

After the war, Mr. Zink joined his father's company, which had been established in 1917, and he eventually rose to become president. It grew into one of the largest industrial mechanical contracting firms in the state and also built nuclear plant piping components and mechanical systems for the Navy.

Mr. Zink also was president of the Zink Pipe Bending Corp., a Harrisburg, Pa., industrial steel fabricating firm.

He was a co-founder in 1971 with his late brother, Thomas F. Zink Sr., of Energy Management Corp., which manufactured and installed computerized energy management systems. In 1984, the brothers sold the company to General Instruments Corp.

A lifelong Mason, Mr. Zink had been grand potentate of the Boumi Temple.

Mr. Zink, who had lived for years on Somerset Place in Roland Park, later moved to the Warrington Condominiums in Guilford. For the last several months, he had been living at Springwell, a Mount Washington senior-living community.

He also spent winters at a home at Lago Mar in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and summers at a cottage in Bethany Beach, Del.

He enjoyed playing golf at the Baltimore Country Club, where he was a member, and at the Rehoboth Country Club.

"Dad loved playing gin rummy and going to the beach," said his daughter, Catherine Zink deVilliers of Lutherville.

His wife of 70 years, the former Anne Ripley, died in 1999.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Andrew's Christian Community, 5802 Roland Ave., Roland Park.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Zink is survived by two sons, John H. Zink III of Baltimore and Philip R. Zink of Kiawah Island, S.C.; seven grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and his companion of 14 years, Merry Sims.