John Richard ‘Jack’ Powers Jr.
Jack answered God’s call for a low handicapper on Wednesday, January 3, 2024. Born September 29, 1931, in Aurora, Illinois, to John and Rena Powers, he was raised in Peoria with his younger brothers Dennis, Tom, and Steve.
Jack was true to his Catholic faith and believed Saturday evening Mass to be undeniable proof that Sunday morning tee times were Vatican-approved. He considered family and friends to be life’s true treasures and reveled in the joy they brought him. Jack showed his fondness for you through well-meaning lectures, unsolicited opinions, or motivational interventions. Those close to him were his usual targets of affection.
By high school, Jack had begun a love affair with the game of golf that never ended. Capturing back-to-back junior championships earned him a golf scholarship to the University of Notre Dame. Fellow teammate and PGA Pro Tommy Veech gave him the nickname Puff because although he hit the ball off the tee like a powder puff, he was deadly around the green. After graduating in 1953, he completed naval officer training, held the rank of Lieutenant JG, and served with distinction while assigned to the Admiral’s foursome.
A prosperous insurance broker and master of golf’s side wager, he successfully supported his golf habit, pilgrimages to Notre Dame games, a wife, and five children. Jack was a joiner if it had some connection with golf or sports. He was a member at Glen Echo Country Club, Missouri Athletic Club, St. Louis District Golf Association, Notre Dame Monogram Club and Notre Dame Club of St. Louis, Society of Senior Golf Association, Boone Valley Golf Club, helped organize the 1972 Ryder Cup at Old Warson, and other sources of mischief. He managed to rack up his share of wins throughout the years. He qualified twice for the NCAA Golf Tournament, was the 1957 Naval Forces Far East Golf Champion, 1962 Peoria City Golf Champion, three-time Mt. Hawley Golf Champion (Peoria, IL), three-time St. louis District Senior Champion, two-time St. Louis Metropolitan Senior Champion, Missouri State Senior Champion, qualified three times for the USGA Senior Amateur, and 1989 Senior Olympics Bronze Metalist for Golf. He especially loved being a member of the 1-2-3 Club, swapping tales with the best of them, and getting the latest sports dirt. If you think he slowed down in his later years, you would be mistaken. We know of at least two hole-in-ones at Glen Echo Country Club in his senior playing days. There are tons more golf triumphs we could list, but we haven’t finished going through boxes yet. By the way, if you have a couple uncashed checks from Jack, you are off the hook. He apparently was the inspiration for Caddy Shack character Ty Webb and left a few uncashed checks laying around.
He regrets taking leave of his wife of 66 years, the former JoAnn Stork, daughter Susan (grandchildren Aileen and Johnny), son John (grandsons Joey and Matty), daughter Katie, son Kevin (daughter-in-law Mary and granddaughter Regan), and an extended gallery of family and friends. We are sure, reuniting with son Danny, other family, classmates, golf rivals, and various partners in crime has him smiling.
Services: Visitation and funeral Mass will be held Friday, January 12 at St. Monica Catholic Church, 12136 Olive Boulevard in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Visitation at 9:30 a.m. with the Mass to follow at 10:30 a.m. Interment will take place immediately after at Bellerive Gardens Cemetery, 740 North Mason Road.