Deceased March 22, 2019
One of our legends is gone—three-letter varsity athlete, devoted alumnus, father of an alum, Jack passed away at age 95 in Medford, N.J., on March 22 after a long illness. He was the first student I met at Amherst. It was October 1941, and my brother Gene ’45, unhappy with his assigned roommate, pulled his bed across the hall in North College, moved in with Jack and started a lifelong family friendship. We were all fraternity brothers at DU.
In World War II, Jack went to the New York State Maritime Academy and served in the U.S. Navy as a deck officer and small boat commander on an attack transport in the Pacific. I used to kid him (after his return to college) that, thanks to his multisport skills and Coach Lloyd Jordan’s affection, he was able to have seven years of eligibility!
After graduation Jack spent 15 years in the family lumber business on Long Island, where he had grown up (and first met his future teammate Lew Hammond ’49) before beginning his lengthy academic profession in the Cherry Hill (N.J.) Public Schools and at Moorestown (N.J.) Friends School, retiring as schools superintendent in Cherry Hill.
While at Amherst, he met Joan Rogers (Smith ’48), and they wed in 1948, starting a joyous union of nearly 71 years. I caught up with them when they moved to Vero Beach, Fla., for the winters, where Jack could sharpen his golf game.
He is survived by his wife, two daughters, a son and a grandson. A memorial was held at Medford Leas on April 1. One of our best known and most popular classmates, whose prowess in football, basketball and baseball will be long remembered. Rest in peace, old pal.
Gerry Reilly ’49