Patience Is the Greatest of All Virtues

Jack Teahen '43 Receives His Diploma

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Jack Teahen '43: "U of D Jesuit welcomes a group of 14-year-old boys, and four years later turns out a group of 18-year-old men. Men for others, if you will."

I met Jack Teahen '43 at a school event in 2005. Over the years, I have gotten to know him as a loyal and generous supporter of The High, specifically as a consistent supporter of the Annual Fund and a charter member of the Arrupe Society. I've also learned a few personal things about Jack: He enrolled at U of D High in 1939 in the classical studies curriculum, his three-year grade average was 98 percent (second in his class), and he was a member of the freshman and reserve basketball teams, and assistant editor of the yearbook.

In September, 1942, Jack was severely injured in an automobile accident and never graduated from The High, and a year ago, thanks to his niece, Katie Scarchilli, I found out that he had never received his diploma as a member in good standing of the Class of 1943. On April 25, 2012, Father Karl Kiser was able to correct this oversight by presenting Jack with his official 1943 diploma at the alumni senior luncheon.

Despite not receiving his diploma from The High, after high school Jack graduated from the University of Detroit. After college, he became sports information director for the Titans and then worked for four years as a copy editor for the Detroit Free Press. In 1955, he moved to the Automotive News, where he stayed for 54 years, serving as reporter, copy editor, associate editor, assistant managing editor, managing editor and finally as senior editor. He retired in 2009 at age 84, having spent 63 years in the newspaper business. In his spare time, he was also a statistician for the Detroit Lions for 53 years. In 2006, he was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.

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Jack Teahen, right, who missed graduating from The High after being severely injured in a car accident in 1942, finally received his U of D Jesuit diploma from Father Karl Kiser on April 25, 2012.

I recently asked Jack to share some of his thoughts about The High and the Arrupe Society.

I've been asked about my fondest memories of U of D Jesuit. Actually, all my memories are in that category. I loved the place-my fellow students, the Jesuits, the lay teachers. Specific memories include Father Nash's Latin baseball games, Bill Madigan's civics lectures that showed us the awesome size and scope of our federal government, Mr. Vaughan's lively English classes, Father McFarland's "shut up" line for guys who took too long to answer a question in Greek class: "That will be sufficient." Incidentally, I can still say the Our Father in Greek. Can you? Herb Stepaniak made physics and trigonometry understandable. We didn't become rocket scientists, but we learned how long a meter is.

In 1939, my freshman year, we won the city football championship by downing Catholic Central 20-0 in the Goodfellows Game, which pitted the City League winner (us) against the Catholic League winner (CC). What a season! I also remember Al Schmidt's field goal and the incredible goal-line stand (4 downs inside the 5-yard line) that enabled us to beat Cooley 3-0, the Lou Bernadotte-to-Art Montagne passes that wiped out Highland Park 40-13, and Dick Krajenke's interception return for the touchdown that sewed up the win over Catholic Central.

A personal memory that has stayed with me for 70 years: We had an All-State tackle in '39, George Reno (later Dr. George Reno), and he was one of the most popular guys in school. As a senior, George decided to learn the names of as many freshmen as he could. Imagine! Me, an undersized freshman, strolling down the hall, and the all-stater passes me by and calls out "Hi, Jack! How ya doin' today?"

What has motivated me to stay connected to The High? That's easy. I've always said that U of D Jesuit welcomes a group of 14-year-old boys, and four years later turns out a group of 18-year-old men. Men for others, if you will. Who wouldn't want to stay connected with an organization like that?

Most of my lifelong friends are guys that I met at The High. I see a lot of Dick Gibbs, a friend since ninth grade, and Jim Thompson, who I've known since fourth grade at Gesu School. Both were '43 buddies. I've vacationed with Dick and his wife, and their six kids (most in their 50s) call me "Uncle Jack." Jim, a CPA, does my taxes, thereby keeping me out of Leavenworth, and advises me on financial matters. I can't count the money he's made for me and saved for me. Jim and I still have an annual luncheon date with Jesse Soltesz '43 and Bob Schrotzberger '43.

Many of my all-time friends from The High have passed away, which is natural seeing how I'm in the middle of my ninth decade. I'll always feel close to the late Dick Burkhardt, Jim Huddleston, Walt Cusack, Bob Howe, Tom Erdmann, Hugh Sullivan, Jack Grant, Bill Gibbs and so many, many others. Requiescat, gentlemen.

Tom O'Keefe asked me the other day why I included The High in my will, which is what the Arrupe Society is all about. I told him it was part of the 70-70-70 program. U of D Jesuit had been in business for almost 70 years when I appeared on the scene. The school has been doing well for 70 years since I left. And by leaving the place a few bucks, I hope it will continue to do its great job for at least 70 years after I'm gone. Does that make sense to you? It does to me.

Learn How You Can Help
If you would like to join Jack Teahen in helping The High provide quality education to our current and future students, consider doing so through planned giving. Contact Tom O’Keefe '64 at 313-927-2342 or Thomas.okeefe@uofdjesuit.org today to learn more, at no obligation.

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