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Topic: Community loses Jack Goggins

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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Community mourns loss of prominent Flint businessman and local benefactor Jack Goggins
Published: Friday, November 26, 2010, 3:30 PM Updated: Friday, November 26, 2010, 5:46 PM
Beata Mostafavi | Flint Journal
Flint Journal File PhotoJack Goggins in 2001.
FLUSHING, Michigan — He was a key force behind the creation of Powers Catholic High School.

A chief campaign supporter for a long list of politicians who regularly knocked on his door. A big-hearted secret Santa to people he’d never met but had heard were down on their luck.

No one ever really knew how many causes, projects and people that prominent local businessman John “Jack” Goggins supported — and he preferred it that way.

Goggins — co-founder of Compak Inc., which later expanded to include Webcore Packaging Inc., Security Packaging Inc. and Security Packaging Warehouse — died on Thanksgiving day. He was 76.

“If the cause was worthy, he gave to it. A lot of people thought they knew who he was and what he did but few really knew. Not much got done in this county without Jack’s input,” said Sen. John Gleason, D-Flushing.

The staunch Republican never forgot his humble beginnings as one of seven children living in a Garland Street home in Flint, raised in a blue-collared family that never owned a car.

So when the entrepreneur found business success, he shared it — generously.

He sponsored such events as Flushing’s music in the parks series, Flint’s long-standing annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and funneled thousands of dollars into local non-profits.

He was remembered as a gregarious Irishman who greeted people with big hugs, was never short on wit and as a famous storyteller.

And he wasn’t shy about his celebrating his heritage, known for hosting large-scale St. Patrick’s Day parties in Florida, decorating his home in shamrocks and ensuring all of his six children and 11 grandchildren attended Catholic school.

But when it came to his pocketbook, he liked to stay behind the scenes.

And that wasn’t easy in politics.

“Very few people ran for office without talking to Jack Goggins,” said Gleason, whom Goggins supported despite different party affiliations.

Campaign finance reports repeatedly earned him a spot as one of the area’s leading Republican Party contributors and fund-raisers and he’s been credited for the local Republican party’s survival in the predominately Democratic area.

He offered the local party free space at his business, regular financial backing and even paid for college students’ membership in the party.

“He is one of the most generous individuals I’ve ever met, just a wonderful humanitarian and patriot,” said Prudy Adam, chairwoman of the county Republicans. “I would say he kept us afloat, but he never wanted recognition.”

Goggins, an alum of St. Michael Catholic High School where he was a star football player and later teacher and coach, found his calling early.

Friends recall the story of Goggins convincing a local store to donate Christmas lights for a fundraiser to benefit the high school’s athletic program that turned out to be a raving success.

“He said, ‘That’s when it hit me ... I’m really good of at this,’ ” said friend Mike Zelley, president of the Disability Network in Flint, which Goggins also supported. “He was a very smart and tough businessman, and he wasn’t afraid of anything. When things got tough, he’d roll up his sleeves.”

And he loved his community.

“Dad is committed to the Flint community, and always encourages and supports new business ventures,” his son Andrew Goggins said in a statement from the family.

One of the original leaders behind establishing Powers in 1970, he continued to be a regular benefactor and top fan.

Even as his health declined, he was seen at nearly every game in his wheelchair, cheering on different sports teams.

“Jack was just a hero of mine,” Zelley said. “When I think of him, I think of the phrase ‘faith, hope and charity.’ He had all three. He gave his heart to the community.”
Post Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:03 pm 
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Dave Starr
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We'll miss you, coach.

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I used to care, but I take a pill for that now.

Pushing buttons sure can be fun.

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Paddle faster, I hear banjos.
Post Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:57 am 
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Ryan Eashoo
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Jack was a amazing man who cared about his community and the people here. He gave so much to us and for that I am grateful. His family should be proud of the legacy he has left.

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Flint Michigan Resident, Tax Payer, Flint Nutt - Local REALTOR - Activist. www.FlintTown.com
Post Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:56 pm 
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