In Memoriam ~ John Gregory “Jack” McGraw ’52 

John Gregory “Jack” McGraw ’52 

McGraw, John Gregory (Jack) – Author, advocate, academic and all-state athlete, Jack died peacefully in Montreal on April 16 surrounded by his family and the sound of his favorite arias. In his youth, he was a promising actor and singer (Cantor in the Dominican order) which inspired his enduring passion for opera. Jack enjoyed playing and later watching team sports – none more so than when his alma mater Notre Dame’s football team played.

Jack was known for his kindness, integrity, intellect, idealism and self-deprecating sense of humor as well as his generosity and hospitality. He delighted in hosting and cooking for friends and family – his gourmet and pasta dinners were legend!

Jack was ahead of his time in many respects. He was a futurist, a feminist and a family man who wholeheartedly cherished and championed the women in his life: a devoted husband to his loving wife and fellow philosopher of 54 years, Patricia O’Connor; a proud and adoring father of two daughters, Sheiline Patricia and Désirée Marielle (Christopher Burke Marilley). He was also a doting grandfather to the latest loves of his life, John Patrick and Michael Connor.

The fifth child of Minnesotans Gertrude (Noethen) and John Gerhard McGraw, Greg (as he is known to his family) is also predeceased by: his precious granddaughter Catherine Genevieve; his beloved sisters Rita, Mary Ellen and Patty (and her husband Tony and their son Joe); his dear brother Jim (and his wife Florence). He leaves to mourn: his lovely sister Kathy, her husband Jerry Gretsch and their four children – Sheila, Katy, Mike and David; Jim and Florence’s twelve children – Jimmy, Mary, Barb, John, Kevin, Peter, Patty, Mick, Bridget, Molly, Anne and Katy; Patty and Tony Lenczewski’s four surviving children – Mary, Ann, John and Julie; and many remaining of his 102 first cousins and other family members. As well, and equally, he leaves behind his four sisters-in-law – Maureen, Barbara, Sharon and Marianne – and their families.

Jack is also survived by life-long friends. Indeed, friendship as the highest form of love was the subject of his doctoral dissertation at the Angelicum University in Rome. Prior to his PhD, he received both a baccalaureate and a licentiate in philosophy at the Pontifical Institute in Chicago. Jack earned his bachelor’s in political science from the University of Notre Dame; during this time, he served in the ROTC Marine Corps and was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy.

After completing his studies overseas, Jack returned to the Midwest to take up his first teaching position at Marygrove College in Detroit where he met his “darling Pat” who would become his life partner. They moved to Montreal where he taught at Loyola College and became the first professor at a Canadian college to be elected by his peers to a governing board, which played a key role in creating Concordia University. He retired as Professor Emeritus and during his career, he published four volumes in philosophical-psychology and -anthropology in addition to dozens of papers in academic journals on topics ranging from God and Nietzsche to nationalism and environmentalism.

Although he felt fortunate for his American upbringing, Jack spent most of his adult life as an engaged and proud citizen of Canada. His family is grateful to the compassionate staff at the MUHC, the Catherine Booth Rehab Centre and the CLSC René Cassin/Benny Farm.

At Jack’s request, in lieu of a funeral or memorial service, a celebration of his life will be held with family. Charitable donations in his memory, for justice and peace, will be appreciated by the World Federalist Foundation, 110-323 Chapel Street, Ottawa K1N 7Z2 wfcnat@web.ca 613-232-0647.