Jack Montesi obituary (1927 – 2021) – Middletown, CT

Jack (Giacomo) Montesi peacefully ended his 94-year-old journey on Wednesday November 17, 2021. He was born in Hartford on September 23, 1927, the second child to Aroldo and Lillian (Di Martino) Montesi. He was the proud father of Lynn (Andy) Ross, John, Robert (Anne) and Michael (Kathy); and adored Grandpa, known as “Papa Jack”, for Rachel, Hannah, Jack, Luke and Ella, with whom he could never spend enough time. They were the sparkle in his eyes. He exemplified many of the characteristics that made the “greatest generation” the one for which they became known: tireless work ethic, self-determination, courage, bravery and stubborn strength. He was incredibly tough, driving until the age of 92 with the trunk of his car full of golf equipment and plumbing tools, even after skills for both finally eluded him. You would regularly hear him say “I can still do anything!” For a very long time, longer than most, that was indeed true. He was a master plumber and led Jack Montesi Plumbing & Heating for over 30 years. After retiring, he worked at the MDC as a senior plumber and, in retirement, as a ranger for Riverfront Recapture and Goodwin Park Golf Course, making many new friends along the way. Always generous with his time and energy, he was always ready to help his family and friends with projects or repairs, whether it was plumbing, carpentry or home improvement. He loved spontaneous road trips and continued to visit Florida every winter until he was 80. As a teenager, he worked at Colt Firearms during World War II. He then served his country at Forts McClellan, AL and Jackson, SC, roaming the South playing baseball for the Fort Jackson team. It was there that as teammates he formed a long-standing friendship with Tommy Lasorda, of whom he was so proud. His company then joined the occupying forces in Japan; but he was left in the United States due to an injury at the camp. He finished as a Tech-5, with a marksman designation and a WWII Victory Medal for his service. Jack has given generously of his time for over two decades in the city of East Hartford, coaching football and baseball and volunteering with the Boy Scouts, even winning the Arrow of Light for his dedication. His beloved Little League team of Lions won several city championships during his 17 years as a coach, in a sporting town that had not one, but three full divisions of the little league that clashed for the title. He had a big smile on his face that earned him the ironic nickname “Smilin ‘Jack” from his fellow coaches, probably more for his tough side than for his prominent dimples. He would “crack the chops” with the best of them, so it was pretty fitting. He was proud to be honored by the league recently, at the start of his 75th anniversary season. He was an accomplished athlete himself and, in addition to baseball, played semi-professional football with his brother, Lou, fastpitch softball for, among others, the Dovelettes, and was also a fairly competitive bowler. He had a huge group of longtime friends from all walks of life, who had gathered weekly for breakfast for years, including Hartford crooner Tony Allen and the late judge Arthur Spada. Jack cherished their friendship. Jack joins the many friends and family who have passed away before him, including his daughter Lynette, sisters Connie (Frank) Cowley, Lucy (Edward) Newhouse, Virginia (George) Nagelis and his brother, Louis Montesi. In addition to his immediate family, he leaves behind many nieces, nephews and their families, as well as old and new friends. Our family would like to sincerely thank all of the compassionate caregivers, Gentle Touch and Beacon Hospice at his home, Hartford Hospital and Rocky Hill Veterans Hospital, who have helped Jack stay comfortable over the past few months. A funeral service will be held Friday, November 26 at 10:00 a.m. at the State Veterans Cemetery, 317 Bow Lane, Middletown, where full military honors will be awarded. There are no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the veterans cause of your choice. To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.

Posted by Hartford Courant on November 21, 2021.

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