Jack H. Mooney died on May 11, 2017 at Hilton Head Hospital a few days after his 95th birthday. He was born on May 5, 1922 in Salina, Kansas, and as a child moved with his family to Kansas City, Missouri. Jack was the second of four children: brother Robert and sisters Ena Lee and Marilyn. His college career at Park College (now Park University) in Parkville, Missouri was interrupted by his service in the Army Air Corps during WW II. Much of that time was spent with the Eighth Air Force in England. Jack’s brother, Robert, was killed in the war while a pilot with the Flying Tigers in China. After the war, Jack resumed his studies at Park College where he received his BA degree. He taught English briefly at Colorado State University before going to Washington University in St. Louis where he received his MA degree and also taught English. In St. Louis, he met and married the love of his life, Jeanette, to whom he was married for 67 wonderful years. He also took responsibility for and acted as father for Jeanette’s nine year old son, David. Jack and Jen moved to Montgomery, Alabama where he began work for the US Air Force as a writer of technical manuals. Jack moved on to become the managing editor of the Air University Review, the professional journal of the Air Force at Maxwell Air Force Base. While he was editor, the Review won several awards and was selected as the best US Government technical journal. Upon retirement Jack received a medal for Meritorious Civilian Service to the Department of the Air Force.
In Montgomery Jack also taught English at the local campuses of both the University of Alabama and Auburn University. Jack and Jen were involved in a number of literary endeavors in the city as well as for Huntington College there in Montgomery. During this time, hanging in their living room, was one of Jack’s proudest possessions, a self-portrait painted in oils of Thomas Hart Benton. This painting had been abandoned by Benton and found by a friend of Jack’s in an attic of a house in Kansas City. Shortly before retirement, Jack and Jen donated the painting to the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. Since then the portrait has travelled the world in exhibitions and been featured on the cover of several exhibition catalogues.
Upon retirement Jack and Jen moved to Ft. Walton Beach, Florida where they enjoyed living close to the beach, and Jack returned to teaching English and writing at several colleges in the area. Wanting to be closer to family they moved to Hilton Head and settled in Hilton Head Plantation. Jack began teaching a course in how to write your life story at several venues on Hilton Head including at Tide Pointe community where they moved from Hilton Head Plantation. Many people on Hilton Head have expressed thanks to Jack for helping them put down in writing the events of their lives for their children and grandchildren to read.
In addition to Jeanette, Jack is survived by sons David Coyle of Hilton Head and Christopher Mooney of Dallas, Texas, their wives, Cynthia and Carmen, and six grandchildren: Douglass, Patrick and Timothy Coyle and Erin, David and Chase Mooney. Together these grandchildren and their spouses blessed Jack with eight great grandchildren. Jack’s middle name was Hamilton and he took delight in the fact that he shared this middle name with two grandsons and one great grandson. Jack is also survived by his sister, Marilyn Burton of San Marcos, California. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Vada Mooney, his brother Robert and his sister Ena Lee Davis.
A service of remembrance will be held at the Tide Pointe clubhouse on Saturday, May 20th at 3:00 PM.
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