May 9, 1930 - July 3, 2013
Jack, the fourth of Jinx and Allan’s seven children, was born in Philadelphia, PA.
At age 5, his family moved back to the Montgomery family home in Axtel, Kansas for a short time, then to Kansas City, Missouri. Jack graduated from Paseo High School, where his special interests were drama and theater, as well as the R.O.T.C. program, where he earned the rank of major and battalion executive officer. He also lettered on the Rifle Team and earned the NRA’s “Sharpshooter” designation.
Beginning his college career at California Polytechnic College (San Luis Obispo, CA), Jack majored in dairy husbandry. In 1948 he transferred to Kansas State College, then to the University of Kansas City (KCU) in 1949. There, he revived his love of “the stage”, producing, directing and participating in theater work and radio programs, and working as a disk jockey at a local radio station. At KCU, he was swept off his feet by a lovely young student secretary in the Radio Department, Therese Bartolac. During their courtship, he was called to active duty with the U.S. Air Force, assigned to Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, NM, in the Public Information Office. His fascination with media grew as he produced daily shows for a local radio station, wrote features for the base paper and directed radio publicity for the base. From Roswell he was transferred to Rapid City, South Dakota, in charge of the Information and Education Office.
In May 1952 Therese and Jack began their 40-year marriage and started a family that eventually grew to six children: Cecilia Norwood (Tim), Ruth Kelton (David), Kevin, Greg, Mark (Christine Emmanuel) and Paul. Upon discharge from the Air Force, Jack went to work with his father in residential construction and enrolled as a business major at Rockhurst College. In 1956 he started his career in the property/casualty insurance business as a safety engineer. In 1959 he began an 18-year tenure with the Trinity Universal Insurance Company in Topeka, KS; Dallas, TX; and Seattle, WA, advancing to Vice President, Marketing and Field Operations. With Therese’s support, he earned his degree in business administration from Washburn University in Topeka, KS, in 1964. From 1977 until his retirement in 1995 he continued his insurance career through various positions in risk management, and in insurance consulting and marketing.
Jack enjoyed local politics and community involvement, where he took on a variety of leadership positions. After marrying Jeanne Gephardt in August 1993, they moved to Lake of the Ozarks. There Jack volunteered many hours of his management skills at a local senior center and supervised construction of a Habitat for Humanity home in the area. He and Jeanne particularly enjoyed long road trips together, visiting friends and taking in sights throughout the central and eastern U.S.
In 2002 Jack returned to Dallas, Texas. Among his special interests were the Catholic Church’s Knights of Columbus, where he was a Fourth-Degree Knight, as well as the Dallas Arboretum, where he chalked up more than 750 volunteer hours. He particularly loved his nearly two years living at the Emeritus Vickery Towers retirement community, where he made and cherished many good friends. Jack attended Cathedral Guadalupe Church faithfully for several years. Among his many other loves were his family, dry martinis, historical biographies, quiet piano music, the P-51 Mustang, refinishing furniture, cultivating color in his garden, his quest for the perfect brisket on his smoker, lighthouses, and “laughin’ and scratchin’” with friends and family. In addition to his immediate family, he is survived by two sisters, Barbara Dyer (Sid) and Sr. Mary Francine Stubbs (Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth), as well as five grandchildren, one great-granddaughter, and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass to celebrate Jack’s life will be held at 10am Friday, July 12, at Cathedral Guadalupe, 2215 Ross Ave., Dallas, TX 75201. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Dallas Arboretum (8525 Garland Rd., Dallas 75218, www.dallasarboretum.org), Cathedral Guadalupe (2215 Ross Ave., Dallas 75201, www.cathedralguadalupe.org), or KERA-TV (3000 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas 75201, www.kera.org/tv).Arrangements are under the direction of: Aria Cremation Service & Funeral Home 10116 E. NW Highway Dallas, Texas 75238 214.340.8008
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