Westlake, Ohio,
20:51 PM

Austintown Quaker Steak & Lube Employee Inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame

Kenneth Jakubec has been a valued member of the Austintown Quaker Steak and Lube staff since the restaurant opened in 2006. At 73 years young, Ken has accomplished a lot to be valued for, and now he is being recognized as an inductee into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame!

Ken served in the U.S. Marine Corps Air Wing from 1964-1968. He had a special (Yankee White) White House Top Secret Clearance and was a Sergeant with Marine Helicopter Squadron One, which flies the President of the United States, then President Johnson. Ken was a Hydraulic and Pneumatic Systems Technician and a Quality Control Inspector on five different helicopters and was the in charge of the hydraulic department. In 2019, Ken was finally recognized with his Presidential Service Certificate and Badge.

Once outside of the Marines, Ken began to serve his community while remembering his veteran roots.

Ken has organized multiple events to honor veterans. In 2007, he started Patriots Day at Quaker Steak & Lube in Austintown. Every year around Sept. 11, hundreds of first responders and community members gather at Austintown location to honor veterans. To date, over 200 veterans, first responders and citizens of the year have been celebrated.

Ken personally installed flag poles on the QSL Austintown property for the five branches of the Armed Forces.

Ken also got the road, which the Austintown QSL is located on, changed from Interstate Boulevard to Patriot Boulevard. He lobbied other local businesses and in Columbus to make this happen.

Other personal accomplishments which earned Ken the honor:

Ken helped with the Woman’s Veteran Bridge Dedication in Austintown in 2018. Also in 2018, he organized over 470 bikers to escort The Moving Wall, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, as it passed through Austintown to Warren. This is the largest crowd to have ever escorted the wall.

Ken combined his love for his high school, the students and veterans into several accomplishments. He has donated his time, money and military flags to a veterans’ memorial in front of Fitch High School, helping a student complete his Eagle Scout project. Ken also researched and developed a list of Austintown students who were killed in action since WW-II. The list resides at Fitch High School and is etched into gold plates, which he donated. Ken also directed the installation of flag poles throughout the area to different veteran memorials and homes.

Beyond the memorials, Ken advises the Students Helping Veterans club at Fitch High School. Students volunteer their time to put out flags at the local schools for appropriate days as well as hold an annual dinner to honor veterans, an event Ken started in 2017. Ken also started the Lunch with a Veteran program. Veterans and activity duty military members eat lunch with the students. They students are allowed to ask questions and talk to these men and women about their experiences. Ken also sits on the Veterans Committee for Veterans Day ceremony at Fitch High School, has spoken at the middle school for Veterans Day and Memorial Day and volunteers to help the band Veterans chili cook off by getting Veteran judges from each branch.

Outside of the high school, Ken is a member of Tri-State Marines Detachment 494, American Legion Post 737 Lake Milton and DAV Chapter 2. He serves on Rifle and Color Guard and is the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Coordinator for his area. Ken also participates in parades and veterans events and helps provide speakers for Veterans Day for a living center in Youngstown.

Beyond his love for his fellow veterans, Ken has a passion for youth, running and helping others.

Ken served on the Austintown Board of Education for a total of 20 years, from 1987 through 2003 and again from 2014-2017, and served as Vice President and President. Ken has been a member of the Optimist Club, since 1971, serving as youth chairman, running basketball programs as well as Optimist meet and raising money for the athletic department.

Ken is well known in the Track & Field and Cross Country community. He served as a volunteer coach, winning 5 straight Ohio age group Cross Country Championships, raised money for many upgrades to the Fitch High School stadium and acted as a Track Official for over 40 years, even serving as President of the Greater Youngstown Track Officials Association multiple years. He also furnished information and VHS tapes, before the days of computers, to over 50 colleges to help athletes earn scholarships, as well as helped organize the Falcon Fun Run for 22 years, which gave scholarships to Track athletes.

Ken gives back to his community in many ways: through his unwavering dedication to veterans and his involvement at Fitch High School and the Tracking & Field and Cross Country communities.

We are proud to have him as a member of our community at TravelCenters of America and congratulate him on his induction into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame!

A watch party was held at the QSL in Austintown last night. Ken’s friends and family came to watch the live stream of Ken receiving his award from the Governor.