Thomas F. Zink Sr., mechanical contractor

December 11, 2008|By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN

Thomas Franklin Zink Sr., a retired mechanical contractor and World War II veteran, died Sunday of heart failure at his Mays Chapel home. He was 86.

Mr. Zink was born in Baltimore and raised in the city's Lakeside neighborhood. He was a 1940 graduate of Polytechnic Institute, where he had been a state champion ice skater.

He attended the Johns Hopkins University, where he was a three-time All-American lacrosse player.

In 1944, Mr. Zink left Hopkins and enlisted as a lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers. He served in Okinawa as a company commander with the 1631st Engineer Construction Battalion.

After the war, he returned to Hopkins, where he earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, and began working at Heat & Power Corp., which had been established by his father in 1917.

Mr. Zink rose to vice president of Heat & Power Corp., and served as president of Zink Pipe Bending Corp. in Harrisburg, Pa., also a family-owned business.

Heat & Power Corp., one of the largest industrial mechanical contracting firms in the state, built nuclear power plant piping components and mechanical systems for the Navy, family members said.

"He also worked with the Navy to develop the advanced steam catapult system that became standard for aircraft carriers," said a son, Thomas F. Zink Jr. of Ruxton.

From 1971 to 1984, when he sold the company, Mr. Zink owned and operated Energy Management Corp., which manufactured and installed computerized energy management systems.

The former longtime Guilford resident retired in 1983.

Mr. Zink was a member of the Baltimore Country Club and an avid golfer.

"When he was 64, he set a then-amateur record of 65 on the East Course," his son said.

Mr. Zink also enjoyed waterfowl hunting on the Eastern Shore.

He was a deacon at Second Presbyterian Church and engaged in charity work with the Boumi Temple, where he was also a member.

Mr. Zink liked spending time at a second home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he was member of the Fort Lauderdale Country Club and the Fort Lauderdale Yacht Club.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at his church, 4200 St. Paul St.

Also surviving are his wife of 63 years, the former Betty Cole; two other sons, Stephen C. Zink of Tampa, Fla., and David H. Zink of Baltimore; a daughter, Holly Z. Brent of Ruxton; a brother, John H. Zink Jr. of Baltimore; and eight grandchildren.

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