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Charles Jack Lano

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Charles Jack Lano

PORT CLINTON: Charles Jack Lano was born in Port Clinton, Ohio on April 17, 1922. Growing up in Port Clinton, Jack pedaled handbills for movie theaters in town, earning cash and free passes initially, and then only free passes as the depression dragged on. The old westerns had a dramatic effect on his code of conduct, and inspired his pursuit of a strong mind and strong body. In the third grade, Jack contracted pneumonia and missed most of the year. Consequently, he never learned his times table until his wife, Bee, bought some flash cards and taught him. During his illness, Jack read every book in the local library, and developed a life time love of reading and books.

For his 12th birthday, Jack received a single barrel shotgun and 100 rounds of black powder shells. Growing up on Lake Erie he developed a life-long love of hunting (mostly bow) and trapping, earning money during the depression and putting food on the table. Imagine what panic the sight of a twelve year old with a shotgun would bring today!

During high school, Jack competed in the 440 and began lifting weights. His senior year, Jack got a job working swing shift at U.S. Gypsum, working the mine after school. When World War II broke out, Jack was exempt from the draft, as he was needed for the production of war material. However, one day his mother said "Jack, your brother has been gone 6 months now, and people are starting to talk. Saturday, I want you to go up to Toledo, and join the Marines". So he did. From working in the mine, Jack had a federal explosive license (doesn't every 20 year old?), and was selected for bomb disposal school. The Navy/Marine course was pass/no pass - one mistake and you were out of the program. The Army did not have this policy, with predictable results. There is no room for error in that business. He attained the rank of Tech Sargent, and received partial disability payments for hearing loss when he was discharged.

Jack corresponded with Bee Spees during the war, and they were married in June of 1946. After the war, Jack started business as a "dealer in secondary raw materials". Specifically, he collected scrap paper and sold it to U.S. Gypsum to make sheet rock. Jack then entered Ohio State University under the G.I. Bill. He completed the 4 year course in accounting in 2 ½ years, graduating second in his class summa cum laude in 1949. He was also Ohio State 165 lb. weightlifting champion in 1949. After graduating, Jack covered a great part of the country auditing Phillips Petroleum for Arthur Young & Co. After Arthur Young, Jack began a long career as a financial executive (usually controller) for seven manufacturing companies, from Ohio to New York to Connecticut to Colorado to California to Iowa. In 1985, Jack and Bee moved back to California and Jack was an auditor for the City of Anaheim until his retirement in 1996 at age 74.

Jack won a record 30 U.S. Masters weightlifting championships, and numerous Pan Am and World titles. Jack added power lifting to his repertoire when he was 55, and won many Masters titles. His last competition was a push-pull contest in Laughlin, Nevada in the fall of 2011. As usual, he won. His weightlifting competitions took him all over the world - Australia twice, Puerto Rico, Canada, Hungary, Poland, Austria, and more. He would usually follow his European meets with a river cruise.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Lillian Antoinette; his brother, Robert, and his wife Bee (1995).

He is survived by his two sons, Douglas of Mesa, Arizona, and Charles of Redondo Beach, California; numerous nephews and nieces, Dick (Jami) Lano and Kate (Denny) Howerth, of Port Clinton; Susie (Mark) Charlton of Oak Harbor, Roberta (Mike) Watson and Mike Pahl of Pickerington and Maureen (Carl) Blum of Boonton Township, NJ.

Jack died from complications of type II diabetes on January 10, 2015.
Published in the News Herald on Feb. 7, 2015
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