Enright, John


ENRIGHT, John Robert "Jack"

Many people answer the call when it comes. Jack Enright showed up before the call was made. He showed up for his family. For his church. His community. His country. Always ready and eager to do what needed to be done, almost always with a smile on his face and Irish in his eyes. Dad died January 20, 2022, nine days after his 99th birthday. He died on his terms: peacefully at home, with family assuring him it was okay to go, okay to go and be with Mom. He was born on January 11, 1923, in Duluth, Minnesota to James Dennis Enright and Frances Donahue Enright, Irish Catholics and lifelong Democrats who revered God and Franklin Roosevelt. With his older brother, James F. (Jim), and younger brother, Thomas P. (Tom), he doted on their baby sister, Martha Jane (Mickey). An A+ student and gifted athlete, Dad attended high school in Brainerd, Minnesota and was named a Brainerd Warrior All-Time All-Star Basketball Player in 1978. He went to the College of St. Thomas (now the University of St. Thomas) in St. Paul, Minnesota, graduating with a double major in accounting and economics. Aided by the GI Bill, he earned his Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in June 1948. Dad took immense pride in serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He enlisted on December 8, 1942, was commissioned a lieutenant on July 1, 1943 after 16 weeks of special training at the University of Notre Dame, and served as gunnery officer aboard the destroyer escort USS Stafford in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre. Recommending him for promotion, his commanding officer noted, "Jack Enright has a(n) excellent personality and a good military character. He is kind, tactful, but possessed of marked force." His family, friends, and colleagues can all attest to the truth of that assessment. He was honorably discharged on July 5, 1946, and was recently nominated to the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame. These accomplishments pale in comparison to what Dad saw as the greatest blessing in his life: meeting and marrying "the most beautiful woman in the world," Phyllis Ann Martin, and raising six children together. Jack and Phyllis were married by the Rev. Joseph Lane S.J. in Gesu Church in Detroit, Michigan on a cold and snowy February 7, 1948. Embarking on a life together included Dad's 38 years of working for the Wisconsin-based company known as Hardware Mutual and later named Sentry Insurance. He started as an accountant in Minneapolis, with subsequent promotions taking the ever-growing family from Minneapolis to Atlanta to Dallas to Minneapolis to Atlanta to New Orleans to Atlanta one last time. At each juncture, Dad and Mom became heavily involved in their parish church and their children's schools, helping lead parent associations, fund-raising drives, and building campaigns. A few years before Dad retired, they built a house at Skylake in the North Georgia mountains near Helen. After a lifetime on the move, they made Skylake their last, best place—a gathering spot for friends, a destination point for family, and a home that expressed the fullness of Mom's many talents and Dad's many endeavors. Active in the Skylake Homeowners Association, Dad happily let loose his inner accountant by volunteering for 16 years with the AARP Tax Aide Program, helping countless people complete their 1040s on time and without penalty. Among other activities, he also chaired the Library Board and served with Mom on Friends of the Library. They found their greatest joy in service as members of St. Mark Catholic Church in Clarkesville, Georgia. There they met—and became lifelong friends with—a young priest named Rev. Luis Rafael Zarama, the first Hispanic priest to be named pastor in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. They worked tirelessly with Father Zarama (now Bishop Zarama of the Diocese of Raleigh), other members of the building committee, and the St. Mark community to finance and construct the beautiful church that proclaims God's active presence to all who drive by on Highway 197. Not long after Mom died in 2013, Dad moved to Tucker, Georgia to live with his daughter Marty Shepherd and her husband, Charles. Even as his physical health gradually declined, he remained as sharp as ever, sharing memories and stories with family and friends, following news and sports closely, and offering astute observations and wry commentary in his Minnesota brogue. So: Irish Catholic, lifelong Democrat, and diehard Notre Dame fan. Child of the Great Depression, Navy officer in the Greatest Generation, exemplary scholar, athlete, and businessman, and, most of all, devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather dedicated to God, family, and country. A full life. A good life. And—because of the care and love provided over many years by Marty and Charlie, family members, friends, and family-by-association Teaondra Gilkey, affectionately known as T—a good death. Such a blessing. Survivors include sister Mickey Schaefer of Brainerd, Minnesota; daughters and sons-in-law Sharon Kay and Alan Jones of LaGrange, Martha Ann and Charles Shepherd of Tucker, and Mary Frances and Tom Rudolph of Hoschton; son James D. Enright II of Portland, Oregon; sons and daughters-in-law John Kevin Enright and Dr. Karen Carter of Augusta, and Michael Thomas and Amy Enright of Dahlonega; as well as 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Bishop Zarama and Pbr. José Luis Hernández will preside at the Funeral Mass of remembrance and celebration at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 31, 2022, preceded by the Holy Rosary at 10:30 a.m. The Mass will be held at St. Mark Catholic Church, 5410 Highway 197 South, Clarkesville. Interment with Military Honors at the VFW Cemetery in Cornelia will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests considering a gift in memory to St. Mark Catholic Church, Clarkesville; Atlanta Community Food Bank; or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Remembrances may be shared at www.hillsidememorialchapel.com. Funeral arrangements by Hillside Memorial Chapel, Clarkesville, Georgia, 706-754-6256. Thank you, Dad, and God bless. Sláinte mhaith. Erin go Bragh.

Funeral Home Information

Hillside Memorial Chapel & Gardens

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