Jack was born to Charlie and Margaret in the Winnipeg area of Canada on the 12th January 1930. Charlie worked on the Canadian Pacific Railway, Jack was the first of their two children and was a brother for Elizabeth, affectionately Betty. Tragically when Jack was nine their mother died. By which time the family had returned to Scotland and were living in the Maryhill area of Glasgow. Interestingly some 70 years later when Jack and his wife Margaret revisited Winnipeg for the first time they went into the museum. There were pictures of the railway being constructed; one featured his father Charlie. Jack and Margaret also travelled throughout Europe.
Jack was a bright lad and despite everything he developed a very witty sense of humour, something he retained all his life; he was always a joker with a funny story to tell; although at times this could be quite infuriating. He would never give direct answer to a question; he gave a ‘Jack answer’, one with a humourous twist.
In the early 1950’s he met Margaret Quinn, they fell in love and married in St. Ninnian’s Church in Glasgow on the 16th July 1954.They had one child, their adored son John and subsequently settled down in the Sighthill area of Edinburgh.
Jack trained as an electro mechanical service engineer to maintain office machinery and was the Scottish Service Manager but was made redundant about 1985. That simply opened up a new opportunity as he became the head janitor at Stewarts Melville College, which was a job he thoroughly enjoyed for over ten years until he finally retired. On hearing of Jack’s death the former headmaster Patrick Tobin said “Jack always brought style, dignity and his own personality to his role and he was very much missed when he retired.”
Jack was a good swimmer and taught John to swim at an early age. John joined Hearts Swimming Club where Jack coached the youngsters; he also became the club’s President. Coincidentally one of the youngsters he coached was Karen. Little did Jack know that many years later Karen would become his daughter in law and mother of their wonderful granddaughter Claire.
For relaxation Jack enjoyed music; he had an eclectic taste. He loved football and was a Rangers supporter. Having said that, when married and living in the east of the country; in the “dark side” as he would say, little did he know son John would become a Hibee and marry into a family of Hearts supporters as Karen, her father Jimmy and brother Keith were Hearts fans. That said Jack enjoyed going along to all manner of club and international matches with them.
In his retirement Jack and Margaret moved to live in Spylaw Bank Road, where they enjoyed their lovely garden that Jack maintained. He also liked the challenge of various DIY projects around the house. He kept up with the news in the daily paper and would tackle the crosswords, his favourites being, The Scotsman and The Mirror.
Jack also enjoyed bowling; he was a member of the Sighthill Bowling Club and became their President.