John W. "Jack" O'Reilly, Jr., 80, of Lake Charles passed away on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 in his residence.
Jack was born on November 12, 1940 in New Orleans, LA and grew up in Lake Charles, LA. He graduated from Landry High School in 1958, from McNeese State University in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science degree where he was President of TKE Fraternity, and from Sul Ross State University in 1972 with a Master of Education degree in Guidance and Counseling.
He served 21 years in the US Army and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1983. His military assignments included tours in Italy, Vietnam, and Korea and he served in the Vietnam War. Mr. Jack was proudly selected to attend the Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, KS and the Army War College in Carlisle, PA. He worked at the Pentagon for the Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Regan. Jack also served in Human Relations and in the Department of the Army. He was a highly decorated veteran and was the recipient of many awards including Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal, and Army Commendation Medal. He was named Commander for the field testing of the first Patriot Missile at White Sands Missile Base in New Mexico.
Upon his retirement from the Army, he along with his wife, brother, and sister-in-law, owned and operated O'Reilly Enterprises, an advertising, public relations, and marketing agency until 1995.
Jack was a lifelong devoted member of the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus and was past Grand Knight for Our Lady Queen of Heaven Council #4562 and Christ the King Council #13931. He was named Council Knight of the Year numerous times, and also served as Financial Secretary, Warden, and Chancellor for the Council First Degree Team, Grand Knight for Second Degree Team, and Conferring Officer for Third Degree Team. Jack was a District and State Deputy and received Star District Awards, he was State Ceremonials Chairman, Past Faithful Navigator of Msgr. Hubert Cramer's Assembly where he received the Masters Award and served as Assembly Color Corps Commander, Faithful Purser, and Faithful Navigator. He was a Knight Commander of the Fleur de Lis and a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher. He held the title of Supreme Treasurer for the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, CT
He held many positions and titles and was highly involved with the community including, served as treasurer for Our Lady Queen of Heaven Council Building Cooperation and Gaming Association, Council Chairman of Retarded Citizens Tootsie Roll Drive for many years, was selected to the Columbian Hall of Fame for Southwest Louisiana, and served on State Public Relations Committee for two years and later served as State Public Relations Chairman. Jack was also a member of the Board of Directors for Family and Youth Counseling Agency and past President of the Board, belonged to the United Way Campaign Committee, was Chairman of Ticket Sales for Louisiana National Air Show, and was a member of Optimist Club of South Lake Charles and was involved in the Special Olympics.
He was a devoted member of Our Lady Queen of Heaven and currently was a parishioner of Christ the King Catholic Church. Jack served as co-chairman of a million-dollar fund raiser to construct a retirement center at Queen of Heaven, currently known as Villa Maria Retirement Center. He attended several religious/medical missions to Nicaragua. Jack was a member and past Vice President and President of the Alumni of Consolidated Catholic Schools (T.A.C.C.S.) representing Landry High School Class of 1958.
In his free time Jack enjoyed sports, camping, and coaching girl's softball. He also enjoyed working in the yard and was never short on projects around the house.
Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 58 years, Betty Wills O'Reilly of Lake Charles; daughters, Mary O'Reilly Stanley and husband, Danny, and Pam O'Reilly Buller and husband, Brad, all of Lake Charles; a brother, Dennis O'Reilly and wife, Karla, of Lake Charles; grandchildren, Tyler Stanley and wife, Taylor, Deven Conner and husband, Sean, Riley Jordan and husband, Bryce, Brent Buller, and Bodee Buller; and a great grandson, Leo Conner.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Olive "Ollie" Ladieu O'Reilly and John "Jack" O'Reilly, Sr.
A funeral mass will be held at 12:00 PM on Saturday, March 13, 2021 at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church. The Very Reverend Rojo Koonathan and Monsignor Daniel Torres will officiate. Burial will follow in Consolata Cemetery under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home. Visitation will begin at Lake City Baptist Church on Friday from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM with a rosary being recited at 6:00 PM. Visitation will continue at Lake City Baptist from 10:00 AM until leaving for Our Lady Queen of Heaven at 11:45 AM. All attendees are asked to wear masks and respect social distancing at the churches.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jack's name to the Wounded Warrior Project, support.woundedwarriorproject.org
or to the Special Olympics, support.specialolympics.org.