December 22, 1919 - September 13, 2016
December 22, 1919 - September 13, 2016
Beverly - John F.” Jake” Condon passed away Tuesday evening 9/13 at the age of 96. He was born in Salem MA on December 22, 1919. He was the oldest of six children born to Margaret and John F. Condon. He was a graduate of Salem High School. Jake served as Postmaster in Beverly for 26 years until his retirement in 1987. He was one of the last US Postmasters appointed by President John F. Kennedy several weeks before his assassination in November of 1963, a distinction he was always proud of. During his years as Postmaster he was very active in leadership activities of the NAPUS and was part of a management team that established the postal service’s Program for Alcoholic Recovery. The PAR’s mission was to ensure that postal workers wrestling with alcoholism had a support system in place aimed at recovery. He served in the US Navy during World War II and was a disabled war veteran. He remained active in the VFW for many years. In 2015 Jake was recognized as Beverly’s oldest living war veteran.
Shortly after the war he married the love of his life Marguerite, with whom he shared 67 years of marriage until her death last year. Together they raised 5 children in Beverly. Prior to his appointment as Postmaster he was a Supervisor at the United Shoe Machinery Corporation in Beverly. He trained dozens of students from Beverly’s vocational technical school at the USMC. He served on the Beverly Board of Alderman representing Ward II for several terms. He held various leadership positions for the Beverly Democratic City Committee, something he truly enjoyed after his retirement from the federal government. He would often say he had become “unhatched” a reference to the Hatch Act which prevents federal employees being actively engaged in political campaigns. He could finally speak freely about who he felt the best candidates were and why. In 2003 Jake and Marguerite were presented with the democratic committee’s Lifetime Achievement award by then US Senator and longtime friend Ted Kennedy. He was also a member of the Beverly Historic Commission. Jake was instrumental in helping to launch the original Northshore Community College in Beverly and served as an active trustee for many years until his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s limited his ability to serve. He remained a trustee emeritus. He was a member and past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Beverly (now Northshore) Rotary Club.
More than anything Jake will be remembered for his devotion to and adoration of Marguerite as well as his service to the Beverly community. His acts of kindness and compassion for friends, family and even strangers are too numerous to list. He was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word.
He was predeceased by his loving wife Marguerite in 2015 and his son John F. Condon III in 1997. He was also predeceased by his parents Margaret and John and his 5 siblings: Robert, Everett, Frances, Phillip and Gloria. He is survived by his other four children: Patricia of Beverly, Suzanne and her partner Lisa Varnerin of Quincy, Julie and her husband Jon Howell of Beverly and Christopher and his wife Joan Falloni of Danvers. He also leaves five grandchildren: John F. Condon IV and his fiancé Jackie Miller of Beverly, Meagan and Caitlin of Beverly and Patrick and Benjamin of Danvers. He also leaves a great grandson, John F. Condon V of Beverly and many nieces and nephews, among them the Donahue kids who affectionately referred to him simply as “Unkie”.
He will be missed greatly by his family, friends and former colleagues. His quick wit and calm demeanor made everyone around him love and respect him.
His funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, 253 Cabot Street, Beverly, Monday, September 19, 2016 at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting hours at the Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly, Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. Burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Salem. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jake’s memory can be made to the Beverly Veteran’s Services, 62 Pleasant St. Beverly or the Northeast Animal Shelter, 347 Highland Ave. Salem MA 01970.. Information, directions, condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.
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