Dennis A. Jenks
Dennis Jenks, The History Factory’s longtime chairman and co-owner,
passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, at his cottage in
Alresford, United Kingdom, on January 19, 2018.
Dennis’s association with The History Factory extends back to 1986,
when he participated in an oral history interview for McCormick &
Company, which had acquired his company Paterson Jenks, the largest
manufacturer and distributor of spices, herbs and seasonings in the
UK. When the interview concluded, Dennis quickly turned the tables on
his interviewer and began asking questions about The History Factory.
“I was fascinated by the whole idea, because I had never come across
anything quite like this,” Dennis recalled in a 1999 interview. “I
knew about people archiving and keeping historical records and museums
and so on, but this was a rather different approach. So, I was very
interested and very impressed and particularly having just sold a
business, this was a new business.”
Dennis’s initial purchase of 25 percent of The History Factory would
grow to 50 percent within a few years. For the next three decades, he
provided critical counsel and financial support as the company
experienced the stress and strain of growth.
Most significant was Dennis’s mentorship of Bruce Weindruch, The
History Factory’s founder. Having successfully built a number of major
businesses from scratch, Dennis provided insight and guidance on a
range of HR, finance and sales issues. “He was a role model for me,”
Bruce said. “Dennis’s energy, enthusiasm, optimism, unswerving
integrity and genuine camaraderie are characteristics that have
influenced me to this day.”
All of us at The History Factory are grateful for the immeasurable
contributions that Dennis made to our company. We extend our
condolences to his wife, Judy; his children, Rosy, Atti, Philip, and
Sam; and his many grandchildren.