John V. Gedeon, 101, printer and engraver

Posted: August 04, 2013

John V. Gedeon, 101, of Abington, a retired printer and engraver who helped print the nation's currency, died of congestive heart failure Tuesday, July 23, at Abington Hospice at Warminster.

He stayed vigorous and mentally sharp, writing his own checks until a week before his death, said his daughter, Kathy Gedeon Scott.

Born in Cleveland, Mr. Gedeon graduated from West Technical High School in 1930. He worked for the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, where he managed and operated printing presses and engraving machinery to print money.

He was the senior printer at the bureau. "He loved it. He taught the apprentices, and a lot of them became master printers," Scott said.

Following World War II, he worked in the Washington office of De La Rue Banknote Co., a British firm. He traveled to London, Scotland, Asia, and Bogota, Colombia, teaching workers how to run currency presses.

Mr. Gedeon retired in 1984 after more than a decade working for E.A. Wright Bank Note Co. in New York and Philadelphia.

His last assignment was printing stocks and bonds, and gas-rationing stamps, the latter for use during the fuel shortage of 1979. When the federal government opted for an even-odd day purchase system instead, the stamps were never used.

Mr. Gedeon was proud in 1984 when he learned he had been made an honorary member of Local 1 of the International Plate Printers, Die Stampers and Engravers Union of North America, his daughter said.

He also was a longtime member of the Loyal Order of the Moose, and bowled on the group's team.

Mr. Gedeon enjoyed home and family, friends, reading, television, movies, music, dancing, and cooking.

He loved golf, which he played in Washington, on Long Island, and in Horsham and Huntingdon Valley. He was a loyal Phillies and Eagles fan.

He and his wife, Ethel E., met in a Cleveland luncheonette after a softball game. A waitress, she got in trouble for bringing him a sandwich with extra Muenster cheese. They remained together until her death in 2001 at age 84.

Surviving, besides his daughter, is a son, Vincent L.; three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a sister.

A life celebration is at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, followed by a 10:30 funeral service, at Craft-Givnish of Abington, 1801 Old York Rd., Abington. Burial is in Whitemarsh Memorial Park.

Donations may go to Abington Hospice at Warminster, 225 Newtown Rd., Third Floor, Warminster, Pa. 18974.


Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8102 or bcook@phillynews.com.

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