Friends and fans of Jack Coakley gathered on Tuesday night at Rowes Wharf to celebrate his life that touched so many. Sixty-seven years old, Jack died on August 1st at the health club where he arrived every morning for the past 30 years. Many in the packed crowd recalled his wit and humor. Afflicted with polio, Jack became an avid and winning marathon wheelchair racer, a passion for which he advocated throughout his life.
A West End resident, Jack worked at the Bill Rogers Running Center at Faneuil Hall. Rodgers spoke at the service about Jack’s passion for racing and his strong prescence in the community. On behalf of the Boston Athletic Association (BAA), exec. director Tom Grilk, talked about Jack’s contributions to the sport.
City Councilor Bill Linehan spoke at the service along with longtime friend Don Keith among others who knew Jack well from the neighborhood. Topping off the event was a musical performance by James Montgomery in the Foster’s Pavilion at the Boston Harbor Hotel.
Donations in Jack’s memory can be made to the Jack Coakley Memorial Fund c/o Nathanson and Goldberg, 2 Atlantic Ave, 5th Fl. Boston MA 02110 (checks only) and to Endpolio.org where the Gates Foundation will triple your contribution.