We are very sorry to announce the death of Jon Repke at his home in Michigan on May 17, 2019, at the age of 89. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Hjordis, and three sisters, all residing in Michigan.
Jon was born and grew up in Michigan in a house built by his father, who worked for the Clark Equipment Company and held the patent for the forklift.
He received a degree in engineering. Arriving in St. Thomas in 1954, he met some of the nautical stalwarts of St. Thomas, Per Dohm, and Eric and Paige Winter. Traveling to Europe, he met his future wife in Copenhagen in 1955 and they were married in 1957, returning the U.S. where he worked as an engineer.
St. Thomas beckoned strongly and in 1961 they moved to St. Thomas where he started Power Products in the old power station on the corner where Giant Gas now sits, doing marine repairs and selling Perkins diesels and parts. He branched out to the BVI and started Parts and Power, which is still a thriving concern.
Jon was a friend and consultant to Joe Bamford, who started and owned JCB, one of the world's largest manufacturers of heavy equipment, frequently joining him in Europe.
He was incredibly talented mechanically, and could fix or make almost anything. He constructed a solar-powered refrigerator for the Soggy Dollar bar before they had electrical service. He would gladly help anyone in need of a hand. He also had the distinction of being one of the few pilots in the Caribbean to survive accidentally landing in the sea twice.
At heart, Jon was a sailor, never happier than when on a day sail or a three-week voyage on his beloved Hinkley Bermuda 40, Sestina. Those of us who new him will greatly miss his presence in our lives.