Born in Syracuse, NY on June 19, 1931, Jack was raised in the village of Skaneateles. While personally reserved, Jack had an abiding love of his country which was the foundation stone of his character. Molded by his father’s example of military service during both World War I and II, Jack himself served as a First Lieutenant (1LT USA – Engineer Corps) during the Korean War; afterwards, Jack was a life-long member of the American Legion Post 239. After the war, Jack returned to Central New York to pursue his passion for the land on his new farm along Route 20 outside Skaneateles. Jack had gotten the smell of the earth in his lungs and, whether raising first milk cows, and then later beef cattle, he was captivated by working the land. Jack affectionately referred to the farm as Poverty Acres in recognition of the financial realities of running a small farm, but Jack was by no means a poor man. Together, Jack and Angie built a welcoming tradition where their doors and kitchen were always open to friends and family. For nearly fifty years, year-round, the farm saw a near endless stream of visitors making their own memories “on the farm”. The same was true on the day that Jack Gregory died when, even though his passing was sudden and on a national holiday, family and friends of all ages put aside their normal July 4th celebrations to, once more, come to the farm and honor their ties to Jack.
Jack served his community as the Sennett Town Justice for 24 years. Jack’s exceptional tenure was the result of dispensing common-sense justice from the bench which earned him the reputation among his fellow magistrates of being one of the “fairest judges around”. Jack was also a life-long member of the Town of Sennett Fire Department with 56 years of service, 5 years of which were as the Fire Chief. Despite these accomplishments, Jack is perhaps most widely known for his collection of over a dozen vintage Korean War military vehicles (including a Walker Bulldog tank) that are exhibited at various community parades in Cayuga and Onondaga counties. Although hailing from a generation of few words, Jack would want the men who worked side by side with him in restoring these vehicles to know how grateful he was for their friendship and the memories. Jack loved this country. Calling hours will be 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, 9 July 2017 and a service to celebrate Jack’s life will be 10:00 a.m. on Monday, July 10, 2017, both at Jack’s farm located at 3900 East Genesee St., Auburn. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Honor Flight Syracuse P.O. Box 591, Syracuse, NY 13209. To send condolences visit: robertdgrayfuneralhome.com.