Jack (Giacomo) Montesi peacefully completed his 94-year journey on Wednesday, November 17, 2021. He was born in Hartford, September 23, 1927, the second child to Aroldo and Lillian (Di Martino) Montesi. He was a proud father to Lynn (Andy) Ross, John, Robert (Anne) and Michael (Kathy); and was adoring grandpa, known as "Papa Jack," to Rachel, Hannah, Jack, Luke and Ella, with whom he could never spend enough time. They were the twinkle in his eye.
He exemplified many of the characteristics that made the "Greatest Generation" that for which it became known: a tireless work ethic, self-determination, grit, bravery, and stubborn strength. He was incredibly durable, driving around until the age of 92 with his car’s trunk filled with golf equipment and plumbing tools, even after the skills for both had finally eluded him. You would regularly hear him say "I can still do anything!" For a very long time, longer than for most, that was indeed true.
He was a Master Plumber, running Jack Montesi Plumbing & Heating for over 30 years. After retiring his business, 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 ever eager to help his family and friends with projects or repairs, whether they were plumbing, carpentry or home improvement related. He loved spontaneous road trips, and continued to drive himself to Florida every winter well into his 80's.
As a teenager, he worked at Colt Firearms while WWII raged. He then served his country at Forts McClellan, AL, and Jackson, SC, traveling the South playing baseball for the Fort Jackson team. It was there as teammates he started a lifelong friendship with Tommy Lasorda, of whom he was so proud. His company went on to join the occupying forces in Japan; but he was left stateside due to an injury at camp. He finished as a Tech-5, with an Expert Marksman designation and a World War II Victory medal for his service.
Jack generously gave of his time for over two decades in the town of East Hartford, coaching football and baseball, and volunteering with the Boy Scouts, even earning the Arrow of Light for his dedication. His beloved Lions little league team won multiple Town Championships over his 17 years as coach, in a sports town that had not one, but three full little league divisions that played against each other for the title. He had a great smile that earned him the tongue-in cheek nickname "Smilin' Jack" from his fellow coaches, probably more for his tough side than his prominent dimples. He would ‘bust chops’ with the best of them, so this was pretty fitting. He was proud to be honored by the league recently, at the start their 75th Anniversary season.
He was an accomplished athlete himself, and besides baseball, played semi-pro football with his brother, Lou, fastpitch softball for among other teams, the Dovelettes, and was a pretty competitive tenpin bowler as well. He had a huge group of cherished lifelong friends from all walks of life, who for years gathered weekly for breakfasts, among them Hartford crooner Tony Allen, and the late Judge Arthur Spada. Jack cherished their friendship.
Jack joins the many friends and family that predeceased him, including his daughter, Lynette, sisters Connie (Frank) Cowley, Lucy (Edward) Newhouse, Virginia (George) Nagelis, and brother, Louis Montesi. In addition to his immediate family, he leaves many nieces, nephews, and their families, and friends old and new.
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 helped keep Jack comfortable over the last many months.
A graveside service will be held 10:00 am Friday, November 26th, at the State Veterans Cemetery, 317 Bow Lane, Middletown where full military honors will be accorded. 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.
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