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Gerard Mankel Remembered

Print Date: 2/22/2024 5:55:14 AM



The National Board recently learned of the December 6 passing of Gerard Mankel, National Board member and retired chief inspector for the states of Alaska and Nevada. He was 77.

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mr. Mankel began his career as a metal worker at a local fabrication company. “Because the company had both R and U stamps, it gave me the opportunity to work on a variety of different projects involving pressure vessels, elevators, and boilers,” he explained in 2003.

Inspired by a Hartford Steam Boiler inspector who visited the plant, Mr. Mankel later attended night school three nights a week for three months before joining Hartford Steam Boiler Insurance Company in 1967 as a boiler inspector. That year, he passed the National Board Commission Examination and moved in 1968 to CNA where he served as a boiler inspector. Three years later, he joined Maryland Casualty in Detroit.

An opportunity to work for the State of Michigan in 1972 took Mr.Mankel and his young family to the Upper Peninsula. Four years later, he accepted a position with Commercial Union in Minneapolis.

A life-long desire to work in Alaska came true when he learned of an opening for a state boiler inspector. Accepting the position, Mr. Mankel moved to Anchorage in 1978.

Over the next 13 years, the Grand Rapids native would hold a number of state job titles that would include chief of the mechanical section, assistant chief for safety and standards, and assistant chief boiler inspector. He was named Alaska chief boiler inspector and voted a member of the National Board in 1991.

Concerned with the cold weather and the effect on his wife’s medical condition, Mr. Mankel retired as Alaska chief inspector in 1997 and traveled to Nevada where he became state senior supervisor in charge of new installations. Less than six months later, he was named the state’s chief elevator/boiler inspector with responsibilities that also included escalators, moving walks, and amusement rides.

In November 2007, he retired as Nevada’s safety manager/technical advisor, a title better describing the more encompassing nature of his responsibilities.

“Gerry‘s wide ranging experience made him one of the National Board’s most knowledgeable members,” stated National Board Executive Director David Douin. “His many contributions to the pressure equipment industry over a 50-year career will never be forgotten.”

In addition to four grown children and their families, Mr. Mankel leaves behind Rosie, his high school sweetheart and wife of 57 years.