Jack Leland was an individual of many talents. He enjoyed exploring old Nevada towns, working his hands, and telling a good joke.
He is fluent in Mandarin and Spanish and was awarded the Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Fellows Program by the Center for a New American Security in 2022. In addition, he has contributed articles to several publications, including Foreign Policy Magazine and Sinica podcast.
Early Life and Education
Jack Leland was born November 19th 1920 in Long Beach, California. He attended Punahou School and Harvard School before enlisting in the Navy during World War II, later earning both Masters and Doctorates of Engineering degrees at Cal Tech.
He is also one of the founding members of Harvey Mudd College’s Engineering Clinic program, which allows students to gain hands-on engineering experience by working on projects sponsored by companies.
He is survived by his wife Elizabeth Humann of San Marino and their son Chris from Huntington Beach. Also surviving are Jana Monroe from Buffalo with husband Darrell Monroe; Kenna Clapp and Adam Clapp and Rhett and Rylee Monroe as grandchildren; as well as sister Mary Aurel Dahlstrom of Springfield VA as well as numerous cousins and other family members.
Jack Leland is a State Department Foreign Service Officer serving as the Deputy Public Affairs Officer of US Embassy Barbados and Eastern Caribbean. Additionally, he is a nonresident Fellow with Atlantic Council Global China Hub as well as teaching English in Panama.
Leland is fluent in Mandarin and Spanish and has contributed articles for various publications, such as The Washington Post, Miami Herald, Foreign Policy Magazine and Sinica podcast. As an avid reader and political enthusiast he keeps abreast of national politics closely.
Jack is an outstanding role model for Manteca’s young people. With a positive outlook and unfaltering dedication, he never gives up in any endeavor he undertakes. Additionally, Jack strongly supports local sports teams – especially college football teams in Manteca!
Achievement and Honors
Jack Taylor established Harvey Mudd College’s engineering clinic, providing students with real-world engineering experience through its hands-on clinic program. Now an integral part of its curriculum, it was also created during his time as chairman. At Rhodes he helped establish and chaired for eleven years the physics department he helped found; for which an award named in his honor has been established to support student study abroad programs as well as establishing the Jack H. Taylor Fellowship in Physics that restricts its application solely to those studying physics at Rhodes physics majors only.
Jackson Leland Durkee was a man of many talents, living his passion with gusto. A loving husband, father, grandfather and friend who will be deeply missed.
Mr. Taylor was an active member of Wells Creek Emmanuel United Church of Christ and enjoyed reading. Additionally, he held memberships with both Black Jack American Legion and Ft. Riley Commissary.
In his later years, he found great comfort at Stead Air Force Base in Nevada and was active within his local community, volunteering to assist neighbors. An outdoor enthusiast, he particularly enjoyed exploring old Nevada towns. Never meeting a stranger himself and possessing an unrivaled sense of humor he was loved by nieces and nephews across the United States.
He amassed a net worth estimated to be around $15 million over his lifetime and became widely recognized for his role as a fitness guru promoting exercise, nutrition, and positive mental health.
He established one of the first gymnasiums open to the public in 1936. Though once an avid consumer of junk food and experiencing behavioral issues as a child, things changed after hearing an informative lecture on health foods and their benefits.
LaLanne was known for his books and videos as well as fitness equipment he manufactured himself. On January 23, 2011 from respiratory failure, at the age of 96. LaLanne still exercised daily before his passing – his daughter Yvonne and son Jon remain survivors as does popular satirical band Tenacious D.