Osborne John Fagan, “Jack” was born November 5, 1932 to Osborne John and Elvira L Fagan in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey. He had one sister, Elvira” Bebe” and two half-sisters, Helen and Mary, and from a young age was fascinated by watching airplanes.
Among his favorite childhood memories were Sunday afternoon trips to the Teterboro Airport which sparked his passion for aviation; he was determined to fly. When his eyesight prevented him from pursuing a career as a pilot, he said, “If I can’t fly them, I’ll design them.” After high school, he headed out west to Hawthorne, California: the center of the aviation industry. He attended the Northrop Institute of Technology where he earned a degree in aeronautical engineering and began to work as a design engineer. After a stint serving in the US Army, he returned to Northrop where he enjoyed an incredible career as a member of many design teams for numerous aircraft. He truly fulfilled his dream of working a job he loved and building airplanes for a living.
Jack loved his wife, airplanes, the Lakers, sailing, skiing, cold beer, scotch, Rogers and Hammerstein, ballet and symphonic music, sports cars, and watching Formula 1. He loved to play basketball and didn’t quit until he was 80! He also loved to cook, tinker with woodworking, build model airplanes, and in recent years he spent hours flying all over the world from his office on Flight Simulator. He also loved to sing and could often be found pretending to conduct an orchestra from his kitchen, complete with a wooden spoon! Jack had many interests and talents, but more than anything, he deeply loved his family. He is survived by his loving wife, Chris, his son Christopher, daughters Pamela and Colleen, son-in-law Tim, six grandchildren & three great-grandchildren, as well as countless others who considered him one of the great ones….
And that’s just who Jack Fagan was: a standout man with an incredibly generous heart. He once helped a friend out by designing Abraham Lincoln‘s hands for the main character in Disneyland’s Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. When his friend said, “What do I owe you for this?” Jack said, “How about a six pack?”
Jack loved knowledge and he never stopped learning. He accepted when he was wrong, but would still argue his point. Part of his generosity was his love of sharing knowledge. Jack would talk your ear off, then talk even more into the other ear, just to make sure you were full of knowledge!
He would often sit in his garage workshop, welcoming anyone who happened to pass by, offering a beer or soda, free advice, and plenty of laughs. Sometimes the friend or neighbor needed something fixed or advice or maybe they just needed someone who wanted to chat…and if it was a kid, they always got an earful about why they needed an education, all the while being forced to listen to classical music! Those kids loved him and just kept coming back for more!
If you never met Jack, you are poorer for it. Those of us who knew him and loved him, are richer because of him. He will live on in our hearts, minds, thoughts, prayers, and laughs. We will think of him when we see the perfect sailboat out on the Pacific, hear the sounds of a plane overhead, the engines of Formula 1, the bounce of basketball, and when we smell a big pot of spaghetti cooking in the kitchen. He will be with us, sharing his love and turning up the classical music.
Jack lived a full, joyous life and he will be deeply missed. When it was time to say goodbye, he would always say, “OK, I’ll see ya when I see ya!”
Jack, Dad, Grandpa, Uncle Jack: “We love you. We miss you and we’ll see ya when we see ya!”
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