Jack A. Eckert, USCG (Ret), an Ozaukee County Supervisor, long time
public servant, and patriot, boarded his final ship and set sail,
succumbing to cancer, at the age of 73, in St. Mary’s Hospital
Ozaukee on March 24, 2005. Jack had been a native of Port Washington,
WI since 1975.
in the United States Coast Guard (USCG) as a seaman at the age of
17, and 27 years later, retired as Lieutenant Commander, 2nd in
Command of all USCG operations for the Western Area District, covering
Port Barrow, AK to San Diego, CA.
Prior to becoming
a commissioned officer in 1961, Jack served at various times and
in various capacities at multiple lighthouse locations in the Great
Lakes Region including Merrimac River, Portsmith Harbor, Sturgeon
Bay, Pilot Island, and the Milwaukee Breakwater. He also served
on several USCG Cutters; CGC McCulloch, CGC Evergreen, CGC Fredrick
Lee, CGC Mackinaw, CGC Escanaba, CGC Casco, CGC Chambers, CGC Yakutat,
and CGC Cook Inlet.
Jack began his
long career in training and instruction in the USCG. He was most
proud of his work as an instructor at the USCG’s Engineman
and Firefighting School in Groton, CT, and teaching at the U.S.
Navy’s Damage Control Center at the Philadelphia Naval Yard
in Philadelphia, PA. In 1970-71, during one of his rare shore duties,
Jack was stationed at USCG headquarters (the Pentagon) in Washington
D.C. where he wrote the template for all new USCG vessels to comply
with the Environmental Protection Act. Throughout his military career,
Jack authored over 15 books about shipboard power creation, steam
power, and large ship engine mechanics. One of his books on power
and steam generation was required reading at the U.S. Navy Nuclear
Power School for many years.
from the USCG in 1975, Jack worked for several companies, including
Wisconsin Power and Electric, Aqua-Chem, and Campbell Soup in Chicago.
In the 1980’s, he led several large training projects for
General Physics Corporation in Egypt and in Southeast Asia. He also
taught at Milwaukee Area Technical College. In 1989, he formed Training
Associates and contracted for foreign and domestic training work
before officially retiring in 1999.
to serve his country as a local elected official. He was a City
Alderman for the City of Port Washington from 1990-1996. Elected
in 1994, and until his death, he was an Ozaukee County Supervisor.
Some of Jack’s contributions to local politics that he was
most proud of were the acquisition support of the Ozaukee Country
Rescue Boat, the Ozaukee Country Taxi Ride Share Program, and the
continued improvement of the Highway department. In addition, Jack
participated in the following community and industry organizations:
Ozaukee County Rescue Boat Chief, AARP, American Legion Wenonah,
NJ, CGC Mackinaw Association., USCG Sea Veterans of America, Fleet
Reserve Association, Fort Sheridan Military Retiree’s Council
(Fort McCoy Branch), Masonic Temple (Harmony Lodge No. 17 FAAM Washington,
DC), Port Washington Senior Center, The Republican Party of Ozaukee
County, Portland, Maine Cutterman’s Association, Explorer
Scout Advisor, Volunteer Fireman at Avery Point, CT and Wenonah,
NJ, and as Little League President in Dale City, VA.
In his private
life, Jack dedicated his free time to his pride and joy, http://www.jacksjoint.com,
a website with over 950 sea stories and tall tales of being a “Coastie”.
“The Perfect Storm”, a movie starring George Clooney,
used several of the stories from his website to help the actor and
screenwriters understand life at sea. His extensive work on the
Internet led him to co-author in 2004, “Coast Guard Stories,
Volumes 1 and 2”, with Donald E. Gardner.
Jack is survived
by his lifelong best friend and wife of over 50 years, Joana (nee
Borowski), his three sons; Randy (JoAnne), William, and Daniel (Mary
Beth), his 11 grandchildren; Danielle, Zachary, Julie, Dylan, Dacota,
Natalie, Sam, Rachel, Cyndi, Chris, and Elizabeth, and his three
great grandchildren; Madison, Kristina, and Megan. He is also survived
by his brother Jerry (Ann). His sister Judy Pope (Lynn) died in
services were conducted on March 29, 2005 at St. James Episcopal
Church, 148 South 8th Ave., West Bend, WI 53095. Full Military Honors
were provided by the United States Coast Guard and American Legion.
In lieu of flowers,
the family has requested that all donations be made in his honor
to St. James Episcopal Church Foundation or a charity of your choice.
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