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Jack Llewellyn

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Jack Llewellyn Obituary
Groton - Jack Llewellyn, 89, of Eastern Point, Groton, died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, April 27, 2014. He was surrounded by his family and wonderful friends in his final days.

Jack is survived by his wife, Averill, whom he loved and cherished for 55 years. He is also survived by his three children, Louisa (Tony) Spinnato of Groton, Bronwyn (Chris) Nelson of Cohasset, Mass. and Keith (Leslie) Llewellyn of Moretown, Vermont; his sister, Helen (Duane) Cutting of Delavan, Wis.; and his four grandchildren, Jack (his namesake), Mats and Kara Nelson and Evan Llewellyn. He also leaves behind his beloved nieces, nephews and extended family.

He was the brother of the late Frank Llewellyn.

Jack lived an incredibly rich and full life. He embodied our country‘s "Greatest Generation", living a life of selflessness, loyalty, love of family, hard work, thrift, patriotism and sacrifice. Jack was born in Newton, Mass. in 1924, the son of the late Francis "Hank" and Helen (Simmons) Llewellyn.

He volunteered for the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 and served on the USS Mannert L. Abele in the Pacific Theatre, surviving an attack that sunk his ship and earning a Purple Heart. After the war, Jack enrolled at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor where he studied to become a naval architect, graduating in 1949.

Jack spent his first career as a naval architect with General Dynamics/Electric Boat division in Groton, working on the design and construction of this countries first and future generations of nuclear submarines. Jack married Averill Grippin in 1959 and they settled in the Eastern Point neighborhood of Groton to raise their family. Jack and Ave spent over 50 years in the same home on Shore Avenue in Eastern Point and were well known throughout the neighborhood for their annual caroling party at Christmas and their long stewardship of the Eastern Point Property Owners Association.

After more than 30 years with EB, Jack retired in 1984, serving as the triggerman for the launch of the USS Louisville. Never one to sit for long, and brimming with experience, energy, knowledge and a passion for all things afloat, Jack joined the staff at Mystic Seaport where he worked closely with the dedicated restorers, builders and others at the shipyard who appreciated old boats in need of a little TLC. The construction of the Amistad replica and a new lift dock were points of considerable pride for Jack as anyone who ever asked him about the type of wood in the Amistad keel (purple heart), how a lift dock works or the drydocking of the Morgan would quickly discover. Jack retired from his second career at Mystic Seaport in 2006.

Jack and Ave also loved old wooden catboats, with Ave joining the crew of the first Happy Jack prior to their marriage (a good test if ever there was one) and as longtime members of the Catboat Association. The second Happy Jack was the vessel for many a sail with his grandchildren and their annual overnight trip to Napatree and Watch Hill was the highlight of the summer for Jack and Ave.

Jack had a special relationship with each of his grandchildren, doting on them and imparting his wisdom on topics big and small, including the hazards of rooting for the Red Sox, the proper bailing technique for keeping a leaky dingy afloat and the joys of a bad joke. Those who knew Jack were truly lucky and he will be sorely missed by his family, his neighbors and his many friends.

The family would like to thank all of those neighbors and friends for their support, assistance and care for Jack and Ave over the past several months and would especially like to thank the staff of Unit 6.2 of the Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.

A memorial service for Jack will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 31, 2014, at the Shennecossett Yacht Club, where Jack was a member since 1953. All are welcome to share stories and celebrate Jack's life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the , P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123 or to Mystic Seaport, Advancement Dept., P.O. Box 6000, Mystic, CT 06355.

Please visit www.byles.com to sign the guest book or share a memory.
Published in The Day on May 4, 2014
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