Jack R. Congrove

June 25, 1947 – April 8, 2020


Jack R. Congrove of Fort Lewis, Washington, president of the Seattle Philatelic Exhibition (SEAPEX), died April 8, 2020, of cancer at age 72. SEAPEX was among Jack’s favorites of the many philatelic projects he took on.


He was instrumental in gaining World Series of Philately status for SEAPEX in 2015, and served as president of the board. He managed many aspects of the show, big and small. His enthusiasm, creativity, organizational skills and hard work will be greatly missed. To know Jack was to like him.


A 35-year member of the American Topical Association (ATA), he served as second vice president. Just prior to his death, he was presented the ATA’s highest award, Distinguished Topical Philatelist, given to individuals who have made significant contributions to philately, especially topical philately.


Jack filled many roles in ATA over the years. He joined the ATA board in 2015, and became second vice president in 2016. He chaired the Portland National Topical Stamp Show (NTSS) with Orlie Trier in 2015.


Most recently, he was co-editor of ATA handbook #168, Topical Adventures – A Guide to Topical and Thematic Stamp Collecting, which will be published this summer.


Alexander Hamilton: Soldier, Financier, Statesman, Founder, Jack’s acclaimed exhibit, won the Grand Award and large gold medal at the NTSS in 2018. He subsequently showed the exhibit in the APS Champion of Champions exhibition in Omaha, Nebraska, 2019. He also exhibited Covered Bridges of Fairfield County, Ohio. He collected butterfly and moth stamps, and planned to prepare an exhibit.


Jack was a versatile philatelic writer and editor. He edited Biophilately, the gold medal winning journal of the Biology Study Unit from 2011 until his death. He also served as a director of the unit for the past 10 years. In 2013, he wrote the history of the unit.


Jack edited the Federated Philatelist, the journal of the Northwest Federation of Stamp Clubs, from 2014 until his death.  In 2016, the Federation recognized Jack with its highest honor, the Northwest Distinguished Philatelist Award, for his contributions to philately.


He was also editor of the newsletter of the Northwest chapter of the American Air Mail Society.


Jack was an active member in the Evergreen Stamp Club in Kent, Washington, giving presentations and assisting greatly at the semi-annual club shows. Jack was instrumental in securing ATA Chapter status for the club in 2016.


An APS member since 2012, Jack frequently volunteered in the youth section at its shows. In 2017, he received the Nicholas Carter Recognition Award for National Service. He was a member of many philatelic organizations, including the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, Women Exhibitors, Military Postal History Society, Americana Study Unit, Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library, Biology Study Unit, Gastronomy on Stamps Study Unit and Wine on Stamps Study Unit.


Jack grew up on his parents’ dairy farm in Pickerington, Ohio, where he learned his strong work ethic and developed the habit of getting up at 5 a.m., something he did his entire life. He was valedictorian of his high school class and continued to stay in touch with his classmates. He went on to earn a B.S. degree in chemical engineering at Ohio University.


After serving 20 years as a US Army Field Artillery Officer, Jack retired at the rank of Major. He served in Vietnam, Germany and on the UN Peace Keeping Forces in the Middle East. Following retirement, he worked for a contractor supporting Army testing at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Fort Lewis, Washington.


He owned a printing and publishing company, where he edited academic and commercial publications.


Jack had many friends throughout the world. He was easily recognizable as he was never seen not wearing a baseball hat. We will miss this strong philatelic advocate and friend.


To view the TV interview from 2019: King5 Interview

 Jack's last project, finished postumously and available now:

Topical Adventures