John Aiken Raveret, 85, died June 13, 2020 at John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, CA from complications relating to cellulitis.
Jack was born on October 5, 1934, and grew up in Skokie, IL. He graduated from Niles East High School in 1952 and from Northwestern University in 1957. Jack was a backstroker for both Niles East and Northwestern swim teams. At Northwestern, Jack was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He married fellow Northwestern alum, Maryanne Telfer, in 1958; and, together with Maryanne, raised his family and lived in the same house in Wilmette for more than 50 years.
An engineer, Jack spent most of his career at International Harvester, Dresser Industries, and Komatsu selling construction equipment to the U.S. government and military. One of his most notable contracts provided ground support equipment that pulled a 747 airplane with the Space Shuttle riding piggyback.
Jack was a well-known youth basketball coach in Wilmette, Glen Ellyn, and Evanston. He coached several championship teams, but he was known more for teaching boys how to become men. For example, he insisted that the boys "give a firm handshake and look the person in the eye." He doled out push-ups in practice and sometimes during games. He insisted that boys wear winter hats outside to avoid getting sick and knee pads on the court to go after loose balls. His players came to appreciate his dedication to and interest in them. Years later, some of his players would even voluntarily do push-ups when greeting him as a show of affection.
Jack was a great storyteller and a natural master of ceremonies for family gatherings and reunions. He was a driving force behind Niles East reunions over the years. He enjoyed barbequing ribs (with his own special sauce) and hamburgers for family and friends. On many summer nights in Wilmette, he could be found laughing, singing, and swapping stories on his back porch. He also loved playing racquetball, tennis, and "beach" bocci. He was known for his loud laugh, reuse of rubber bands, and championing of underdogs.
He is survived by his wife Maryanne of 61 years, children Jane Raveret of New Canaan, CT, and husband Bob Neuhaus; Tom Raveret of Glen Ellyn, IL, and his wife Carol Raveret; John Raveret of Wellesley, MA, and his wife Sara Raveret; Anne Obsitnik of Moraga, CA, and her husband Jim Obsitnik; and grandchildren Katherine Shores, Emily Shores, Adam Raveret, James Raveret, David Raveret, Callen Raveret, Lauren Raveret, Graham Raveret, Chase Obsitnik, Caroline Obsitnik,Tyler Neuhaus, Byron Neuhaus and Robin Neuhaus. He is also survived by his brother Robert Raveret of Sun Lakes, AZ and his wife Betty.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his name to Feeding America and Habitat for Humanity.
A celebration of life will be planned for a later date when pandemic restrictions have loosened.
Published in PL-North on Jun. 25, 2020.