OBITUARY AND EULOGY given by John Driscoll Jr.
I read that the Eulogy for Mario Cuomo was 40 minutes long. You will all thank me because this will be much shorter. I also would like to thank all of you for being here today. On behalf of my Mother Helen and our entire family we appreciate your kindness and sympathies at this time of loss.
When we dropped off my Dads clothes with the funeral director on Saturday a nice suit was picked out. On my way home I thought we may have chosen the wrong suit. However I doubt anyone was ever buried in a bathing suit. That however was his favorite clothes item for his entire life. He swam on the High School team and met Buster Crabbe, an Olympian and one of the actors who played Tarzan. He was a lifeguard on the beach at Coney Island. He even went and got recertified as a lifeguard in his 60's in New Jersey so the pool at Mystic Shores could remain open longer. That test included swimming 500 meters, that's 20 laps, in less than 10 minutes. Of course most of the students in his class were older teenagers and college kids on swim teams and this was not a problem. As they finished and exited the pool they came to dad's lane and cheered him on. He finished just in time with only seconds to spare. Years ago in my room in Farmingdale there was a closet with a high shelf. I climbed up and took down some things one day and found a Stars and Stripes article titled something like Coney Island Lifeguard finds Okinawa beaches a little different. Dad had been interviewed and included a story of a rescue he made back home. The victim needed resuscitation and when she came to she began slapping him. Later that day, I asked if that was a true story and he just gave one of his one sided smiles and said he made it up to be funny.
He liked to be funny but he was not a joke of the day kind of guy. He told funny stories and had witty one liners. I remember walking into the Sears in Hicksville one day. There was a table set up outside the store. The woman asked if he wanted a free hearing test. He leaned over and said, WHAT? Then he walked away grinning. He looked at me and said did you see the look on her face.
John Michael Driscoll was born in NYC. Early on his mom called him Jackie and he has been called Jack most of his life. My dad grew up in very humble conditions. His crib was a drawer pulled out at night. He slept with his brother in the same bed his entire childhood and adolescent years. The apartment did not have hot running water when he was younger. It had to be heated on a coal stove in the kitchen and he and his brother carried the coal up from the basement. That same guy would get married to Helene, start a family, buy a house on Long Island and they always put food on the table. And every year we went on vacation at places like Eva's farm in the Catskills, Lake George, and Schmidtt's Mountain resort in the Poconos.
Helene and Jack would later travel to Europe and see a great deal of this wonderful nation. They went on vacation in Barbados and Florida year after year when they retired.
There are somethings my Dad will not be remembered for. These include his handwriting. Also his ten page term papers when he went back to college. Like most kids he counted the words and wrote bigger and bigger as the paper wore on. Then my Mom would start typing and yell Jack you are going to be two pages short and he would trudge back to the dining room table and try to write some more. Jack Driscoll will also never be known for his bicycle riding skills. He did not know how to ride a bike because as a kid he could not afford one. Later though he made us great scooters from roller skates and wooden milk Crates. He made quite a few for kids in the neighborhood. Some guys actually went out and bought new skates so he could cut them up and make them a scooter.
He helped everybody and that is why his career as a fire fighter was so important to him. Over his 29 year career he fought fires in all five boroughs. He made an off duty rescue of a woman in a burning apartment and received a personal citation. He also led a team that rewrote the NYC code on use of propane. The work was done so well and so much research was done that the Bureau of Fire Prevention received a Unit Citation. It was the first time an administrative unit had ever been awarded a unit citation. One night dad as a new LT was assigned to a fire boat. There was a fire that February night on a pier and they responded. The pumps and engine could not operate at the same time. To prevent drifting away from the fire the pilot recommended putting the bow in the mud to hold it against the current. Dad ordered Full speed Ahead. Instead the pilot eased the boat in and the fire was eventually put out. When they returned to the home dock the boat was covered in ice. Dad asked what do we do now? He felt bad about the condition of the boat. The next shift looked at him and said. Lieutenant you put the fire out, we will clean up. Dad never wanted the spotlight. At the fire company picnic he would rather clean pots than be in front of the grill handing out hamburgers and hot dogs. He was a neat guy and he will be missed.
John ""Jack"" Michael Driscoll Sr., 82 of Little Egg Harbor, NJ passed on Saturday September 10, 2016. Jack was born and lived in New York City and Farmingdale Long Island, NY before moving to Little Egg Harbor 25 years ago. He was Communicant and usher at St. Theresa's Church and he served our nation in the United States Army. Jack served New York City, the city he loved, for 29 years as a member of the Fire Department of New York. He retired from the FDNY as a Lieutenant in 1990. Jack was a lifeguard during his teenage years in Coney Island and was recertified again in his early 60's to work part-time for Mystic Shores to keep the pool open. Jack was a kind and generous man who loved bowling, travelling, spending time with family and going to the city.
He was predeceased by his parents Patrick and Catherine Driscoll of County Kerry Ireland and his brother Patrick Joseph Driscoll who lost his life on September 11, 2001.
He is survived by his loving wife Helene Driscoll of 54 years, sons John and wife Sue of Eagle Rock, PA, Andrew and wife Sue of Clinton, CT, daughter Marie and Gregg Roman of Edison, NJ, grandchildren Jake, Patrick, Brian, A.J., Ryan, Kimberly, Jennifer and Joseph.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday September 14, 2016 from 2-4pm and 7-9pm and on Thursday September 15 from 9:30-10:30am at Maxwell Funeral Home 160 Mathistown Rd. Little Egg Harbor, NJ 08087. A Funeral Mass will take place on September 15 at 11am at St. Theresa's R.C. Church, Little Egg Harbor. Burial will follow at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veteran Memorial Cemetery, Arneytown, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the NYC Firefighters Burn Center Foundation at http://nyffburncenter.com/ or to the Tuckerton/Little Egg Harbor Food Pantry at http://greatertuckertonfoodpantry.org/donations