Like so many other people of Wimberley, Woodcreek and the Hill Country, we in CARD are heartsick over the loss of our friend and associate Jack, both as an advocate for water, conservation and sound development, and as just a very wonderful person to talk to and be around. Long before CARD, and far beyond CARD, Jack has been a leader in the effort to preserve the best of what we all love about this special part of Texas. CARD was just one of many organizations that benefited from his membership, dedication, wisdom and wealth of knowledge.
Probably most of us heard of the tragic loss of this favorite Wimberley citizen – he first moved here as a kid and returned as an adult – by one or more of the countless emails that started circulating Monday night, shortly after the tragic accident that took Jack. There was a brief mention in this week’s Wimberley View, and there will be a full obituary on this remarkable man and life in next week’s paper. Even many of Jack’s friends will be surprised at what a rich life he led. Husband, father of two, grandfather of three, great grandfather of one, long-time caregiver for his Mother, Rice University engineering graduate, U.S. Marine, high school and college math teacher, hunter, lifelong environmentalist and naturalist, a founding board member of the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District, early proponent of rain water collection, social activist and writer, mentor and friend to many. And so on. Who knew all that? He lived so frugally and behaved so modestly.
We’ll leave details to the obituary and to the stories and memories of Jack’s friends. The many email threads and Facebook commentaries making the rounds bear heartfelt messages and favorite stories and sad regrets from so many people who knew Jack, including mayors and city councilmembers and county commissioners, prominent citizens, fellow campaigners for protecting our aquifer and for encouraging rainwater collection, from liberals and conservatives and from people who hunted or hiked or bird watched or fought the good fights with Jack.
Jack lived the life and walked the walk of his beliefs. Like having and advocating rainwater collection long before it was popular. How many times did he quietly remind us toward the end of a meeting, “I’d like to talk some more about our focus on rain water collection”?
When CARD members got together Tuesday night, feeling a need to share the loss, the words were mostly about Jack’s personality and kind demeanor and willingness to help others and stand up for things he believed in. Perhaps the core feeling was expressed by one comment; “Nobody didn’t like Jack or had anything bad to say about him, even if they disagreed with him.”
Jack, we miss you, and will miss you, and we will try to remember you and honor you by following the wise course you set.
- Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development