John Allen “Jack” Mehaffey
John Allen “Jack” Mehaffey, age 83, The Villages, FL, died Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at his home. He was born in Brainerd, Minnesota, the son of the late Scott and Belva Mehaffey. He is predeceased by his loving wife, Mary Jean; sons, Scott and Chris; parents, and sister, Patricia Cain.
He is survived by one son, Mark (Beth) of Antioch, IL; three grandsons, Lance, Justin, Ryan; four great-grandsons, Jackson, Camden, Austin, Kaedyn; and his devoted companion, Leontine Hollingsworth.
Mr. Mehaffey spent his entire career in the newspaper and print media business beginning as a newsboy. One of his companies pioneered the distribution of preprinted advertising material through newspaper networks. Additionally, he was associated with the folks at The Advertiser of Antioch for nearly four decades.
He was a benefactor to developmentally disabled people and victims of mental illnesses. The family stated, “Service to others was his passion.”
He is published in Who’s Who In America, The World, Media and Communications, Advertising, Industry and Finance and “Outstanding People of the 20th Century.” He was an inaugural inductee to Brainerd High School’s Outstanding Achievement Hall-of-Fame in 1999. He was a recipient of the Naples (FL) GEM award for his community service.
He received various awards from Press Associations and others over decades including an Editorial Award for campaigns to improve conservation and flood control in Illinois and Indiana in the 1960’s. The American Newspaper Publishers’ Association, Missouri and New York Press Association honored him for community service. Both The National American Legion and National Veterans of Foreign Wars honored him with Special American Patriotism awards. Among his many awards are; The Naples Gem Award, Iwo Jima Award, U.S. Constitution Award, Special Patriotic Award by U.S. Marine Corps. “Dare to Dream It; Work to Achieve It.” It’s the American Way.
He participated in special Bi-Centennial ceremonies at the Liberty Bell, Independence Park, Philadelphia, in 1976 to observe, dedicate and preserve the United States Constitution’s First Amendment assuring freedom of speech and a free press.
He was selected by American Heritage Research for inclusion in the Library of Human Resources “In recognition of professional and civic attainments within the community of America, recognized by the citizenry of the Nation accorded to outstanding contributions to the growth and development of the American Republic” (Bi-Centennial, 1976).
He was a member of many local, state, national and industry organizations including: Charter member St. Joseph’s Medical Center Foundation, Lions International, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, National Press Club, Washington D.C., International Press Club of Chicago, Chicago Headline Club, Naples Press Club, Motion Picture and Television Assn., Founding One Thousand, Naples Philharmonic Center for the Performing Arts, Naples Area Chamber of Commerce, Naples Southwest Florida Conservancy, National Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Optimist International, Life Member Paul Bunyan Nature Center, Rotary International, Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, Verified Audit of Circulations Board of Governors and Circulation Verification Council Advisory Board. Lifetime honorary member of the Marine Corps League of America.
Other memberships included, the Elks, Moose Lodge, Port Royal and Pelican Island Yacht Clubs, Naples, FL. He was raised in the Park Methodist Church, Brainerd.
Due to COVID-19 and the CDC guidelines, funeral services and interment will be private. Interment will be in Hillside Cemetery, Antioch. Arrangements were entrusted to Strang Funeral Home, 1055 Main St., Antioch, IL 60002. Any memorials may be made to the Association for Individual Development, 309 New Indian Trail Court, Aurora, IL 60506. A Celebration of Jack’s life will be held for family and friends at a later date. For additional information, call 847-395-4000. Please sign the online guestbook for Jack at www.strangfh.com.