Jack Edward Reak
Last updated 12/14/2020 at 3:39pm
Jack Edward Reak was born in West Frankfort, Ill., on Aug. 31, 1925. He died on Dec. 6, 2020. He had been since 2007 a resident of Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community in Asheville.
His education included Southern Illinois University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Northern Colorado where he received his doctoral degree. He taught in the public schools of Illinois.
Reak served in the United States Army towards the last of World War II. He held a reserve Military Intelligence Officer Commission and was recalled during the Korean War.
He was on the faculty of Indiana’s Ball State University for 28 years retiring as senior tenured professor in 1986. During this time he served on national committees of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. During his Indiana years he was active in the Democratic party and was a member of the Indianapolis Athletic Club.
Retiring to Connestee Falls, a mountain resort community in Western North Carolina near Brevard, he served on the county Historic Properties Commission, was president of the regional historical society and as co-author with a local historian produced a color postcard history of the county and a children’s color book of its historic houses. The children’s book was reproduced in 2011 for the county’s 150th founding anniversary.
For his Brevard St. Philip’s Episcopal Church he both wrote its history and serving on its cemetery committee established an endowment for its pre-Civil War St. Paul’s in the Valley cemetery. His history of the Episcopal Church’s national Kanuga Conference Center was published in 1994 and he was the principal writer of the history of Trinity Church, Asheville, published in 2011. Both books won awards. His service to the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina was recognized with a service award in 2013.
Reak visited in Europe often, traveled in South America, the Far East, and once to the Antarctic. He twice studied at St. George’s College in Jerusalem.
There are no immediate survivors and his ashes were interred at St. Paul’s in the Valley, in Brevard.