E. John "Jack" Lawless
"E. John", "Jack" Lawless died peacefully at his home on June 1st, 2018 surrounded by his loving family, he was 86. Born September 25th 1931 to John Kenneth Lawless and Margaret Francis Seguin. Jack attended St. Bernard’s Elementary School, and graduated from Saranac Lake High School. Jack served in the United States Navy from 1951 to 1954. He was assigned as a sonar man on helicopter Squadron 3 aboard the aircraft carrier Oriskany. After the service he returned to Saranac Lake, working alongside his father and younger brother Ken at the Texaco service station that they owned and operated (presently Verizon Wireless). It was during this time that Jack met and fell in love with Ginger Lee Gowan, they were married at St. Bernard's church on January 4th 1958. They remained married for 26 years. After divorcing, they maintained a beautiful friendship of love and respect of each other (and their new spouse’s families, which made the years of family gatherings all the more meaningful). Together they raised seven children and parented/ grandparented united until the end.
Jack, along with his wife Ginger, owned and operated 'E John's Lounge' at the sight of what is now The Rusty Nail. A few years ago, Jack, Ginger and the family, returned to shoot pool and have a few drinks at the Nail. They had a ball recounting the wonderful people they met and laughing about stories you'd only get from the characters that come from a small town like Saranac Lake. Jack also worked as a Purchasing Agent for Saranac Lake Central School. He later was offered and accepted the job as the first Administrator for the newly built William Mansion Nursing Home in Malone New York. He loved his 10 years in Malone and the friendships that he formed there lasted a lifetime. Jack went on to become Village Manager for Saranac Lake and later worked as Assistant Manager at the Hotel Saranac. Jack coached basketball overall for 44 years. He spent three decades with the CYO, also time with the Saranac Lake and Lake Placid Middle school programs. In his 70's Jack worked as an Assistant Coach for the men’s team, Head coach of the women’s team and, as a recruiter for North Country Community College.
Jack retired to Port Orange, FL where he met and married Esther Huber. They lived in both Port Orange, FL and Lake Placid, NY. During his time in Port Orange Jack worked at Spruce Creek High School and Campbell Middle School as a Teaching Assistant and a volunteer mentor to troubled youth, a cause that was extremely important to him. Esther's sister Doris and her husband Jim Scott, also of Port Orange became the best of friends. Jim and Jack shared a passion for Florida State football and together, coached youth basketball in Port Orange. Esther's family, children and grandchildren brought great joy to Dad's life and he considered them his own.
Jack was a true gentleman, he was quick witted, a gifted story and joke teller and he was a friend to everyone he met. He spent a lifetime of giving, starting as a child, handing out food trays to the TB patients at Spear Cure Cottage before school. Later, he and Ginger opened their home to foster children, fresh air fund children, local people young and old in times of need. Jack was an avid volunteer. Some of the organizations included; March of Dimes, Board of Economic Opportunity Council 18 yrs, Village Planning Board, Public Health Advisory Board, Board of Co-Operative Educational Svcs member, Director of Malone Recreation Commission 10 years, Literacy volunteer and Summer Recreation Program Volunteer 12 yrs.
He is survived by his wife Esther of Port Orange, FL, beloved step-mother Beatrice Lawless of Ogdensburg, NY his children; Edward John Jr., (Phyllis Webster) of Granbury, TX, Christopher (Cathy),of Saranac Lake, Joseph, (Carolyn) of Saranac Lake, Matthew of Chattanooga, TN, Michael of Saranac Lake, Margaret Rice (Ernie) of Saranac Lake and, Kenneth (Helena) of Saranac Lake, his precious grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his first wife Ginger Hughes, his father, mother and brother Ken Lawless.
Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. A mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Bernard’s Church on Thursday, June 7 at 11 am. A celebration of his life will follow at the Mt. Pisgah Lodge. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to remember Jack are asked to make a donation to any worthy cause supporting Saranac Lake or to a local youth organization of their choice. Family and friends can also share their memories at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.