Jack's wife, Marian, has written a tribute
to Jack and has asked me to read it out on her behalf:
Jack was born on 31st December 1932, the only
child of Robert and Mary Owen. He attended East Ward Junior and
Senior school leaving just before his 14th birthday to take up
an Apprenticeship with Bury Co-op as a Motor Mechanic. He took
all his exams at Bolton Technical College and because he was still
doing his training his call up for National Service was deferred
until he was 21.
He was in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical
Engineers and most of the 2 year service was spent in Egypt. On
his demob he returned to the Co-op.
He met Marian soon after he came back to Bury
and they got married the following year in 1957. After the birth
of their 2 sons Barry and Niel Jack decided to join the Territorial
Army. He said it was for the extra money but he had enjoyed the
Army life. It was in the T.A. that he met Jim Aspinall and Tom
Derby. They became very good friends and came to be known as Freeman,
Hardy and Willis and Jack was constantly reminiscing about the
escapades they used to get up to when they were on camp.
Jack decided to leave the Co-op and got a job
at Redfern and Birchalls working as a heating engineer in commercial
premises. He worked there for several years. Unfortunately this
meant him being away from home quite a lot and he was missing
the boys playing football, so when a job came up at Bury Drill
Hall for a Motor Mechanic servicing the Army vehicles he jumped
at the chance.
All his life he has been very sports minded. He played football
himself from an early age in one of the Bury leagues, for Birtle
Parish Church and St. Thomas's, and then for the Army teams, and
back to the Bury teams until he was well in his 30s.
Barry and Niel were both good at football,
playing for Bury boys and the Derby School and he would go and
watch them wherever they were playing. Once when both of them
were playing for the 1st team the ball went out of play, Jack
meant to kick it back, but it ended up on the roof of the school,
very embarrassing for both of them. At one time he ran a team
of Junior footballers.
He enjoyed badminton until golf came into his
life and then that took over. He was not a person who could just
play for fun everything had to be competitive. He was a member
of Walmersley Golf Club from 1980 until 2012 when he started having
chest problems and found it very difficult to get round the course.
He made many good friends at Walmersley, particularly with Jeff
Wardley and Joe Sankey and would play 4 or 5 times a week, weather
permitting. He went on many a golfing holiday both at home and
In between everything he would find time with
his family. The family gradually extended to 5 grandchildren and
6 great grandchildren. When the grandchildren were younger he
spent a lot of his time along with Marian taking them on holidays.
Even the great grandchildren got used to his ways, but they all
loved him to bits.
Jack was always a character and would have
everyone in stitches telling of his escapes during his T.A. outings
and golfing holidays. He was entirely honest and would always
speak his mind. If he didn't want to do something you could never
change his mind. Family get togethers will not be the same without
him. He will be greatly missed.