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John J. "Jack" Early, 87, of Keansburg, a pillar of unwavering dedication to his family, country, and community, passed away peacefully on November 28, 2023, at Bayshore Medical Center, Holmdel. Born on March 3, 1936, in the Bronx, NY, Jack's life was a tapestry of service, love, and commitment.
Predeceased by his parents, Thomas J. Early and Rosemary Lennon, Jack also faced the profound loss of his beloved wife, Catherine “Kay” Early, his son, John J. Early Jr., and his brothers, Thomas Early, Robert Early, and Joseph Early. His legacy, however, continues through his three daughters, Theresa Early of Hazlet, Rosemary Greenan of Ireland, and Erin (Mark) Brown of Belford; his seven grandchildren, Kim, John III, Shaun, Caitlin, Ronan, Nolan and Cadence; and ten great-grandchildren, Kayla, Kara, RJ, Rylie, Ruby, Kaiah, Brynlee, Zayne, Aidan, and Saige who will cherish his memory and the values he instilled in them.
Jack's life was marked by a strong sense of duty, which was evident from his early years. In 1954, during the Korean War, he joined the US Air Force and served his country with honor until his discharge as a staff sergeant in 1963. His commitment to service didn't end there; he continued his military career in the Army Reserves, 78th Division at Camp Kilmer in Edison, NJ. After 30 years of dedicated military service, he retired as a sergeant first class.
Following his military career, Jack's desire to protect and serve led him to become a Keansburg police officer then detective in 1965. He served the community with distinction until his retirement in 1982. His dedication to his fellow officers was reflected in his role as a past delegate of PBA Local 68.
Jack's involvement in his community was extensive and heartfelt. He was a lifetime member and past president of New Point Comfort Fire Company #1, a life member of the Keansburg American Legion Post 273, and a past member of the Keansburg Exempt Fireman's Association. His faith and commitment to his spiritual community were evident in his participation in the Holy Name Society and as a volunteer usher and counter for St. Ann's Church, Keansburg.
Furthermore, Jack was deeply involved in various cultural and heritage organizations. He was a proud member of the Monmouth County Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Irish Federation of Monmouth County, celebrating and preserving his Irish heritage.
His dedication to public service continued as he served as a councilman for the Borough of Keansburg for four years and as a commissioner for the Keansburg Housing Authority for seven years. Jack also shared his expertise as a licensed housing inspector for the Borough of Keansburg.
Jack's interests were as robust as his service record. He was a man's man, living by a lifetime code of (God, Family, Country, and the town of Keansburg)—a mantra that guided him through his remarkable life. His unwavering commitment to these pillars was the compass that directed his every action and interaction.
The impact Jack had on his community and the lives he touched will be felt for generations to come. His was a life lived with purpose, a life that exemplified the virtues of dedication, service, and love. As we bid farewell to John J. "Jack" Early, we celebrate a life that was truly well-lived, and we take comfort in knowing that his spirit will live on through the countless lives he enriched and the community he so ardently served.
Family and friends are invited to pay their respects on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, from 2 pm to 5 pm at the Jacqueline M. Ryan Home for Funerals 233 Carr Ave. Keansburg. On Thursday, December 7, 2023, there will be a 10:00 am Mass at St. Ann’s Church, Keansburg. Interment to follow at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown, NJ.