Jack Denious ’59
Jack Denious ’59 had an ingenious sense of humor and loved playing practical jokes. An English major, Jack was adept at wordplay as well.
Funeral services will take place Thursday at 9:00 AM at St Peter’s church with burial at Holy Cross cemetery (Hummel). (iv)
Early Life and Education
Jack Denious was born the same year a CIA U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers was shot down over Soviet territory and captured. Powers later admitted his guilt of spying but was released after 14 months. Meanwhile, in 1988 Rain Man starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise brought attention to autistic savants.
At Amherst College, Jack Denious majored in English. He enjoyed reading and language; had an witty sense of humor; loved practical jokes. In his senior year he received the James “Kip” Taviano Memorial Locker ’13 which is awarded annually to student athletes who display sportsmanship, friendliness, loyalty and dedication and was an incredible teammate and leader. This award truly honored Jack for all he contributed as an English major.
President Jimmy Carter fulfilled one of his campaign promises when he pardoned draft dodgers in 1977 when Jack was 17 years old. Sixteen months later, John Lennon of The Beatles was gunned down outside his New York City residence by Mark David Chapman who shot and killed him outside.
Jack had an affinity for language and writing, yet also enjoyed playing practical jokes and telling tales of classmates carrying around a mannequin named Irving around campus or stacking themselves into an unusual box near a Pratt fireplace and then popping out unexpectedly on unsuspecting passersby. His eyes twinkled as he told stories of classmates carrying Irving around campus or folding themselves improbably into boxes near fireplaces at Pratt to play these practical jokes on unsuspecting passerbys before suddenly emerging outwitted them all.
He is survived by his wife, Susan; three sons (two Amherst alumni); eight grandchildren; and one great-grandson. A memorial service was held Sept. 4 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.