Aug. 28, 1927 – May 5, 2019
H. Jack Jaeger, of Amherst, retired executive director of the Boys Clubs of Buffalo, died May 5 in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. He was 91.
Born in North Tonawanda, he grew up in Buffalo’s Humboldt Park neighborhood.
One of the best young speedskaters in the city, he finished second in the one-sixth mile race in the 1941 North American Amateur Outdoor Ice Speed Skating Championships in Schenectady.
He was a 1945 graduate of Fosdick Masten High School, where he was a standout football, basketball and baseball player. He returned in September 1945 for post-graduate studies and to captain the football team, but played only two games before he was drafted into the Army.
Sent to Fort Dix, N.J., he never went to boot camp. Instead, he was immediately assigned to the finance department, to help pay soldiers returning from World War II.
In 1946, he became the starting second baseman on the Fort Dix baseball team, which played semi-pro and college teams and teams from other military bases. They placed second in the New Jersey State Semi-Pro Tournament.
Returning from the Army in November 1946, he enrolled in the pre-med program at the University of Buffalo, then transferred to the physical education program.
He and a teammate, Bob Marafino, petitioned the athletic director to start the first UB baseball team in 1949 and he played three seasons until he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1951.
He also was a member of the fabled Simon Pure semi-pro team from 1948 to 1953, when it won three city championships.
After graduation, Mr. Jaeger began a 32-year career with the Boys Clubs of America as physical education director of the Town Boys Club in the Town of Tonawanda.
He became executive director of the club in 1956 and moved it from an old jail building on Roswell Avenue in 1965 after he arranged for the purchase of the former Harding Elementary School on Riverdale Avenue, current home of the Boys and Girls Club of the Northtowns.
In 1966, he took a position with the national office of the Boys Clubs of America in New York City and went on to serve as regional director for the New York region.
He returned to Buffalo in 1968 to become executive director of the Boys Clubs of Buffalo, retiring in 1983.
His wife of 60 years, the former Judith Werner, a dog groomer, died in 2014.
Survivors include two sons, James and Jack; a daughter, Julie Dawson; a sister, Grace Mols; and six grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Clarence United Methodist Church, 10205 Greiner Road, Clarence.