Jack "Capt"n Jack" Redding, 91, passed away Friday Aug. 2, 2013, at The Bailey Center, St. Augustine, Fla. Born in Columbia, Tenn., Jack"s life was full of adventure and unique experiences but he was content in later years to "cultivate my garden," as he often quoted Voltaire.
Jack joined the National Guard and was mobilized with the Army Air Corps during World War II but, much to his dismay, was medically discharged. Drawing from his experience as an aquatic instructor, he transitioned to lifeguard in Miami Beach at The Fountainbleau Hotel. Jack attended the University of Tennessee and played football as wingback on the 1944 Rose Bowl Team. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions before a career-ending injury.
Jack earned his bachelor"s degree in finance from Rollins College in 1948 where he was active in many sports, including high diving, and performed at Silver Springs. One of his fondest memories was riding horses from Texas into Mexico with classmate and lifelong friend Sam Burchers. As a college student, he developed a love of classic literature; his pursuit of knowledge lasted a lifetime.
He coached high school and college football in Tennessee and South Carolina, was principal in Tennessee and went on to pursue public service. Jack was elected sheriff of Giles County, Tenn., in 1950, serving three two-year terms. He then moved his family to Orlando where he taught high school psychology and history and became director of adult education. He earned his master"s in education from the University of Florida in 1965.
He moved to Sanford in 1971 as high school principal and pursued his dream to live on boats, which included a classic motor cruiser and the triple decker "Noah"s Ark." Jack moved to Pahokee in 1973 as principal of Pahokee High School and later assistant superintendent of Palm Beach County Schools. There he earned the nickname "Capt"n Jack" and met his wife of 27 years and the love of his life, Jackie.
They moved to St. Augustine in 1986 and were founding members of Marsh Creek Country Club where Jack was an avid golfer and president of the Men"s Golf Association 1992-93. He ran a small club repair business from home for several years. When Jack made friends, he made "podners" for life.
Jack was preceded in death by his daughter, Vera; granddaughter, Blossom; and son, Sam. He is survived by his wife, Jackie; son, Dixie; grandson, Samuel; daughter-in-law, Chris; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday Aug. 9, 2013, at Craig Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jack"s memory to The Bailey Center (NE Florida Community Hospice), HAWKE or the Betty Griffin House.
"Salud, El Capitan!"
Craig Funeral Home Crematory Memorial Park is in charge of the arrangements.