The last time that I saw Jack Shales, he was in a nostalgic mood, and I, always one for a good story, was the perfect captive audience.
That day, I learned about Jack’s high school days, his service in the Marines, but mostly about his lovely wife, Marlene, and how their wedding day finally came to be. At that time his 62nd wedding anniversary was around the corner, and his lifelong friendship with Marlene was front of mind.
As our community learned of Jack’s passing over these last several days, I have no doubt that after the first wave of sadness, everyone’s thoughts drifted to stories of time spent with Jack. He was a kind and thoughtful man who always made time to visit with others, to share a bit of wisdom, to let you know that he cared.
While philanthropy has many stars in the national spotlight, here in Elgin and its surrounding communities, Jack Shales was one of our stars. Well beyond his financial influence are the countless lives better lived and dreams fulfilled because of his generosity. Jack was so well respected because he truly cared about the organizations he invested in—the staff behind the scenes and the people they served.
The legacy he left behind is great. His stories, his kindness, his humility and his grace will all be remembered and missed.
Our thoughts are with his wife, Marlene, his children and his entire family. Please know that our community mourns your loss with you and is here if you need our support.
To read more about Jack’s life or the families wishes, please follow these links.
Rest in Peace, Jack Shales.