Bill Jenks 1930-2009
It is with regret and great sadness to announce the passing of master craftsman and long time dedicated employee, Bill Jenks. He passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 3, 2009. It is a great loss not only for his family and friends, including everyone here at MOON, but the entire industry and hot rodders everywhere.
Bill came to work for Mooneyes when Dean Moon purchased Potvin Racing Cams in 1960. He continued working from the old Potvin Cam facility in Anaheim, managing the company for Dean. When Dean built the machine shop at Mooneyes in Santa Fe Springs in 1962, Bill moved to this new facility. He worked at this location for the next 40+ years until his retirement last month. He came to work with his signature lunchbox every single day like clockwork, without fail. Mooneyes was his second home. They don’t make people like Bill Jenks any more and he was truly the real McCoy. We truly miss him and he will always be in our hearts.
Bill was a master camshaft designer and true craftsman. He could make any engine run better, faster, from small go-carts to nitro-burning dragsters and helped many people win races. Bill also welded MOON Tanks and was second to none. Between Fred Larsen and Bill Jenks, they have built some amazing engines and won many races throughout the ’60s.
Bill was featured in a multi-page article in Hot Rod Deluxe (March 2009) about his early years of hot rodding, dry lake racing, and working at Potvin and Moon.
Shige Suganuma recently posted about Bill’s retirement dinner on his blog. Here’s the post:
We had a Retirement Dinner at Mimi’s Cafe in Anaheim for long time employee, MOONEYES Camshaft grinder and MOON Tank welder, Mr. Bill Jenks. He has been with MOON for 45 years (if you include his time at Potvin Racing Cams, it’s more than 51 years of service). After the ceasefire ending the Korean War, he returned to USA and began work for Potvin, having always hung out there before the war, and started Cam grinding over 50 years ago. Yes, you can certainly say he is Mr. Cam Master and I am grateful to Dean MOON that I was able to meet such a wonderful person.
God Speed Bill.
Rest in Peace.