Deceased January 7, 2016
With Jack’s death, ’52 has lost one of its most ornery and delightful members. Jack was from Hanover, Pa.—then the harness horse breeding capital of the world—and you weren’t long learning this essential fact. Tanger’s had been the town’s hardware store since 1864, run by the first John C., then by Jack’s classical Greek scholar father. When nails were scarce in World War II, Tanger’s had already stored up a plentiful supply in advance of Pearl Harbor. They nailed down Jack’s tab to Mercersburg Academy and Amherst. When Jack left Amherst, he took over the store.
There was one other powerful Hanover tie for Jack—Barb. The two had been in love even before college. There never was a more determined suitor than Jack. We can recall calendars with the dates crossed out as the day approached of his next return to Hanover and Barb. On his graduation, Jack and Barbara, with no fanfare, went off to an Amherst church and got married. In Hanover, of course, they had three children. Jack IV ’76, who, after Amherst, studied at Cal Tech, and who continues, even after retiring from academia at age 42, to be a vastly learned scholar of the universe. A second son lives in Hanover. His daughter, Susan, ran the hardware store and was a great help to Jack when her mother died and in his final years.
Jack died on Jan. 7.
A track star at Amherst until his knee gave out, Jack was a history major and a wonderfully congenial member of Chi Psi. Always feisty and independent-minded, in his last letter to us he reiterated his lifelong loyalty to the Republican Party.
Bill McFeely ’52
Bill Smethurst ’52