Eulogies for Jack
"God took my father when I was 21, but soon after he sent Jack.
He was nurturing, open, communicative, he pretty much told you like it was.
He opened my eyes to the potential I had and modeled that we all are continuous learners. Though we didn’t always see eye to eye; he listened to my words, was respectful and kept an open mind.
Thank you, Jack, for making my life richer and giving me so many wonderful memories."
~ Delivered by a step-daughter – Jill.Hoffelder
father had another hobby and past-time, flying a Cessna
airplane. One of the
greatest memories (when he was a hero in his teenage daughter's
eyes) that I have of my father, occurred on July 12,
1971. I was 17 years old. This Saturday
morning, he and I took off from Metropolitan Airport in
Indianapolis with another friend, Chet Miller. I
believe we dropped off Chet Miller in Ohio. Dad and I continued flying east a little
~ Delivered by his daughter -- Amy L. Allison
"Good afternoon on this beautiful day and greetings to members of the Allison, Carteaux, Doumas, Collins and Coussins families and as well, friends of Jack Allison. To stand here and to look out on this gathering of incredible people is living testimony to the incredible person that he was. The man who had the most influence on the man I became passed away on November 17. My father was 77.
For the first time in my life, I'll celebrate Christmas this year without my dad. It has been said that the loss of a parent is one of life's most traumatic events. I now know the devastating truth of that statement. I've been told that, in time, the hurt will fade, only to be replaced by positive memories that soothe the soul. Already, I can feel that happening.
Maybe it's because my father and I had a simple and loving relationship. He was a remarkably good man, like many of the inspiring role models that I saw as a child as well as have had experienced in my professional life. Like them, he was a person of devotion and integrity, a man who maintained optimism while learning to cope with life’s unpredictable challenges. My goal as a young boy was to grow up to be at least half the man and father that he was to me.
His core accomplishment was family. And as one of his children I was able to experience his pouring of love and energy into me and my sister during our most formative years only to turn around and see him do it again with Jeanne’s fully grown children. That is why I measure his life in the family values and the work ethic that he has created for me and others. My dad was incredibly creative; he passed on to me the ability for a left-brained engineer to be a right brain artist.
And now for the memories: We would drive to get fresh donuts on Saturday mornings together. We would actually start to eat many of them before we got home. We would sailboat race on Geist Reservoir together. We would do odd jobs around the house together. We would go to Indian Guides meetings together. He would take me to Anderson airport to watch him learn how to pilot an airplane. He got me a job in his Civil Engineering surveyor firm which helped to teach me about the meaning of a hard day’s work. He was there with me for the many times I stumbled.
And I remember these things as if we had done them all last weekend -- because we did them again and again and again, as vividly as a great piece of music where you know every word, every note, every solo taken by every member of the band. You know it until it becomes part of you, until it becomes you.
His companionship, wit and gentlemanly southern charm has touched all our lives. The Allison name is a hard one to fill, but thanks for the help of one red-haired leader in this room that I will get help.
As many of you know my dad loved to travel. And for what he has given each of us I am pleased that I have very good news to share with you today. This is that he will get to travel with each of us forever. As each of us here today travel he will always be there with us in that imaginary seat next to us. Oh, and one last thing……..leave room for his dog at his feet."
~ Delivered by his son --
John B. Allison, III
"I’ve known Jack since I was 12. When you meet someone 16 years your senior at that age, it is difficult to imagine that first meeting would result in a 49-year friendship. To this day I can’t tell you what was the glue of our friendship, but for me it was something special.
Many here expect me to tell some sailing stories. Those wild and crazy guy-type stories. I’m not going there. One, because I want to talk about the Jack I knew, and well you know what happens on sailing trips stays on sailing trips.
Some have that special something that draws people around them. Jack had that quality. He had the looks and manners, and a reserved confidence, possibly from starting out poor but ultimately he became not just well educated but well read, successful in business, licensed pilot, and very capable yachtsman.
He named one of his boats “Southern Comfort.” I always thought he named it after the bourbon by the same name. I think he played a trick; he named it after himself.
Sailing was a big part of Jack’s life, and by introducing it to me it became a large part of my life. Each trip seemed like a big adventure, for myself and Linda.
Once, I chartered my own boat in the Virgin Islands with Linda and another couple. The trip was everything one dreams of – sailing in the Caribbean. I owe it all to Jack.
Eventually, Jack got a boat on Lake Monroe. He would call me up and I would sneak off work and the two of us would go out on the water and sometimes, just drift around. We had many a long talk, and a couple of times I spotted a tear or two from his eyes.
Jack loved Virginia, and returned there every chance he got. I asked him why de didn’t stay there, and he replied there were no jobs. So he and Chris were off to Ohio and then Indiana.
The first time I realized Jack was slowing up was on a trip to Hawaii several years ago. Jeanne, as usual, being the ultimate tour guide, arranged everything. When she rented the car, she was listed as the primary driver. Jack thought Jeanne would list him as secondary, but she put me down instead. And to my surprise he didn’t push the issue.
In May 2005 we joined the Allison’s in Virginia. Again, Jeanne did all the planning and drove Jack and their dog, Charlie, and Linda and I joined them later. One day we were rained in, and as we sat around talking Jack happened to mention that some day assisted living may be in his future. At which I replied, “Jack, what do you think Jeanne’s doing now?”
I spent a lot of time with Jack, a lot of time. But not enough time. I know everyone in this chapel has someone they spend a lot of time with, but not enough time.
In my home in Indianapolis I have a liquor locker. In that locker is a bottle of whisky. The name on the label on that bottle is “Virginia Gentleman.”
Now, it wasn’t named for
Jack, but it should have been."