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James “Larry” Mench

• Updated Dec 10, 2018 at 5:02 PM

MECHANICSBURG, PA — James “Larry” Mench, age 78, died peacefully at home in Mechanicsburg, PA on Thursday, December 6, 2018. Born on October 25, 1940 in Norwalk, Ohio, Larry was the son of the late Alwilda Shipman Mench and Waldo Emerson Mench.

A resident of Carlisle for 40 years, Larry was the former Dean of Admissions and Recruitment at Dickinson College until his retirement in 1995, after 21 years of service. He was a member of the Otterbein United Methodist Church.

His devotion to education began in 1963, when he began his career teaching high school in Oberlin, Ohio, after receiving a BA in Economics in 1962 and his Master of Arts in Teaching in 1963 from Oberlin College. In 1965 he was hired by Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster as the Assistant Director of Admissions, later he joined the admissions staff at Ohio Wesleyan University. In 1969 Larry became the Associate Dean of Arts and Science Admissions at Cornell University until 1974, when he finally came home to be at a great small college, Dickinson College in Carlisle, where he happily remained until his retirement.

A devoted teacher, mentor, leader and friend, Larry always asked himself, “What is in the best interest of the student?”, before making a decision. The students were his primary concern. Year after year, as students graduated from college, some transitioned to the Dickinson admissions staff and joined “Larry’s Gang”, to be embraced and taught and mentored to serve the students who would succeed them at Dickinson. One of those former co-workers reminded him recently that he taught them to work hard, but to remember that God comes first, family second and then comes the job. Integrity, trust, truthfulness and respect others were Larry’s guiding principles.

Larry is survived by his devoted wife of 55 years, the Rev. Noreen (Bender) Mench of Mechanicsburg, his two sons: Mark Lawrence Mench of Severna Park, MD and Matthew Michael Mench of Knoxville, TN; five grandchildren, Vincent and Luke in Maryland, and Michael, Addy and Jack in TN. His brother, John Eldon Mench, resides in Norwalk, Ohio .

A memorial Celebration of Life Service will be held in March at the Stern Center on the Dickinson College Campus, led by R. Russell Shunk, his successor and friend. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the “J. Larry Mench Scholarship Fund”, for students in need, the Dickinson College, c/o Kirk Swenson, VP of Advancement, Carlisle, PA 17013. 

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hoffman Funeral Home and Crematory, 2020 West Trindle Road Carlisle, PA 17013.


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