Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join BAMC
Memorial-Stark, Jack M.
Share |
Jack M. Stark
1929 – December 1, 1967  

Mr. Jacobs. In memory of the late Jack Marshall Stark I would like to call on William B. McDanald, Esquire. 

Mr. McDanald. May it please the Court, Judge Anderson, family of Jack Stark, friends: it is indeed an honor for me to speak to you today in tribute of Jack Stark. I am afraid that Jack was will us for such a short period of time as a member of the Montgomery County Bar Association that not many of us knew Jack very well. 

     Some of us did know him extremely well because we were involved with Jack in his recent campaign for the State’s Attorney position in Montgomery County. 

     Jack was born in New York in 1929, and quite by coincidence it was also in 1929 that the English playwright and novelist John Galsworthy wrote the lines that politicians are marvels of energy. I think these words probably do not describe anyone better than they do Jack Stark, for Jack Stark was more than a marvel of energy; he was a marvel of action and he was a marvel of achievement as well. These words, I think – “energy.”, “action” and “achievement” – best describe Jack, to those who knew him. 

     If we look at the record of Jack it speaks for itself of his energy. Jack first of all was as I said born in New York but he was raised in Connecticut and he received his secondary education at the Lawrenceville Preparatory School in New Jersey, following which in 1950 he graduated from Yale with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He then attended Harvard Law School where he got his LL.B. in 1953. In 1953 he also passed the Connecticut bar and shortly thereafter came to the District of Columbia where he took a position as a trail attorney in the U. S. Department of Justice in the Frauds Section. He was there from 1953 to 1954 but in 1954 joined the United States Air Force as an officer. He was in the Judge Advocate General’s Office where he was also a trial attorney, and during this period of time in the service he was stationed here in Washington. He was also a White House aide, social aide, in the Eisenhower administration. 

     He left the service in 1957 and took a position as an Assistant U. S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. In 1959 he left the U. S. District Attorney’s Office and became the minority counsel for the Special Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight in the U.S. House of Representatives. That committee had supervisory powers and Jack was involved in the TV “payola” hearings in Congress and was also involved in the Adams and Goldfine hearings. 

     In 1961 Jack entered private practice and he stayed in private practice up until the time of his death, which was on December 1 in 1967. Jack was thirty-eight years old. But even in private practice he managed to keep extremely busy in politics. In 1964 he managed Congressman “Mac” Mathias’ primary campaign here in the county. In 1964 he was also an aide to Governor William Scranton of Pennsylvania.

      It was in 1966 that I met Jack, when he became interested in the State’s Attorney position in Montgomery County. He did run. Unfortunately he ran second, but he did amass a total vote of 53,930. Now for Republicans, I believe if my memory serves me, that was the second highest number of votes cast for any Republican in that election. 

     Previous to the election Jack had begun and continued to practice here in Rockville. He had an office in the Suburban Trust Building. He was appointed in June of 1967 as Chairman of the Board of Appeals of Montgomery County. In July ’67 Governor Agnew appointed him to the Commission on Law Enforcement in the Administration of Justice Department popularly known as the Governor’s Crime Commission. Again, in November of 1967, Jack was appointed as a trustee for the recently developed Montgomery County Public Defender system.

      Your Honors, I believe that this record speaks for itself of the action and achievement and energy of Jack Stark but I would not like for the impression to be gained that he was just a lawyer and just a politician. Jack was indeed a great deal more. Jack was a devoted father and devoted husband. He spent a lot of time with his family through all of his activity. I don’t know where he found the time to do it but he made the time, and he was known to go and has been seen down on the Canal on many, many weekends with his family. He lived in Bethesda not too far from the C & O Canal and he did a lot of hiking down there. He was a canoeist – white-water canoeist at that – any many of you know that is not a sissy sport. Jack used to go horseback riding; he also found time to get a private pilot’s license. He played high school football, was also a tennis player. Jack was an all-around man. 

     When we speak of devotion to family I remember very clearly an incident that occurred during the campaign. As election came near pressures of course were mounting and we held a number of meetings in Jack’s house. Quite a few people would be there, perhaps twelve, and as in most political meetings there was a lot of smoke and a lot of talk, and things were going hot and heavy. 

     I remember his son Marshall coming into the meeting and asking his father something, as children do, they are prone to ask things that do not seem to be too particularly important to anyone but them at the time. Jack stopped the meeting and took care of whatever it was that Marshall wanted, indicating to me that important as this campaign was to him, whatever his child wanted was more important. 

     Jack had a gift for writing and a gift for speaking as well. In addition to everything else I have told you he was the Washington correspondent of the news service of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – NATO. He also was a businessman; he was director of several corporations in the area. He was also a member of any professional and business and social organizations. 

     Jack, in short, led a very full and exciting life. There was no task that he was given or that he could be given that I know of that was too great for him to undertake, with the abundant energy he had. Likewise there was no task, if asked, that was too small for Jack to devote his attention to. He was a scholar, he was a lawyer, he was a businessman, he was a family man. 

     I think that perhaps the greatest tribute to Jack and the greatest comfort to his wife is the opinion shared by many who knew him, and that is that if Jack had it to do all over again he would do it just as he did this time. He enjoyed life fully; he lived a full and active life. Our community has certainly felt a great loss with the loss of Jack; our Bar felt the loss of a very able and astute lawyer. We extend our sympathies to the family. 

Mr. Jacobs. In further memory of the late Jack Marshall Stark I should like to call on William J. Rowan, III, Esquire. 

Judge Shook. Mr. Rowan. 

Mr. Rowan. Judge Anderson, members of the family of Jack Stark and friends: like Mr. Bill McDanald I first met Jack when he campaigned for State’s Attorney in November of 1966, when it started; and I would best describe him as an aggressive, intelligent, outgoing man with a distinctive and unusual capacity for work. 

     Because he practiced law mainly in the District of Columbia prior to the election for State’s Attorney in November of 1966, few members of this bar knew Jack. When that election was over practically all of us had become acquainted with him. 

     His interesting campaign will be remembered for his shopping-center tours, for his morning train rides where he was soliciting votes, for at the stop-lights during the morning rush hour shaking hands, for a brochure picturing him standing in front of the courthouse. 

     Jack’s energy was tireless. He was continually working during that campaign to serve the public. With his wife, the former Betty B. Fox, constantly at his side his energy and never-give-up attitude became his trademark and highlighted the county races; and although he was not on top when it was all over, as Bill McDanald said, almost fifty-four thousand people pulled his lever for him to be the State’s Attorney of Montgomery County.

      Jack loved politics. I remember him telling me laughingly one time that during his honeymoon part of his time had been spent with his wife handing out literature for the campaign of a Midwestern Congressman. 

     To those who worked with him during that campaign it was a privilege to be associated with such an able and dynamic person, a person who truly wished to serve the public. But defeat only tended to spur Jack on. With his office here in Rockville, true to his word he continued to practice in Montgomery County.  

     He became a member of the Board of Trustees of the Public Defender’s Office; chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Appeals and remained active in Republican politics. He was in the private practice of law since 1961 and prior to that time had spent two years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Mr. McDanald has related many involvements that Jack was in. 

     Of Jack Stark it can truly be said that in his short thirty-eight years he accomplished more than most men do in a long lifetime. His sudden death in December of this past year was a shock not only to his family and friends but to all who knew him, for Jack was a man constantly involved; involved in the practice of law, involved in politics and involved in raising his young family. It was a tragedy to his family, to his young son and daughter. 

     It was once written that Heaven gives its favorites early death; truly, Jack Stark must have been one of those favorites. 

Judge Shook. Responding for the Court, the Honorable Walter H. Moorman. 

Judge Moorman. Mrs. Stark, Jack Marshall Junior and Wendy, and Jack’s other relatives: it was my good fortune to have become acquainted with Jack shortly after he came to this community and became active in lay affairs and politics. There is absolutely nothing I can add to familiarize you with Jack’s background, as Mr. McDanald and Mr. Rowan have reviewed it most thoroughly. 

     But what a record, in the fourteen years after he graduated from Harvard Law School. His abilities, his experience and his sincerity were recognized in the community by both political parties when he was sought to assume positions of leadership, not only in his party but in his community; and what better recognition would one want to illustrate a sterling character and a perceptive, sparkling personality than to be sought out be one’s fellow citizens to lead and serve them. 

     These memorial ceremonies perhaps do little, I think to mitigate the grief and the irreparable loss that has occurred to Jack’s family and to us, but I hope that his family will take some consolation in his accomplishments and in realization that he had a full, fine life that was enriched by many of his friends. 

     It is difficult for us to understand why a life such as his should be snuffed out at thirty-eight years of age; we can only answer by saying it was decreed from above. And as we adjourn, in memory of Jack Stark I would request that a prayer be spread upon the record that the good Lord will give his loved ones courage and hope. 

Mr. Jacobs. At this time I would like to move that these proceedings be spread upon the minutes of the Court. 

Judge Shook. Your request will be granted, as will the request of Judge Moorman. I am sure the members of the Bar, the family and friends of the persons here eulogized realize that the individual member of the Bench who is speaking is speaking the feelings of the entire Bench. 

     The Court will now stand adjourned, in memory of the late Walter W. Dawon, Charles W. Prettyman, J. Grahame Walker, Jack Pinkston, Hyman Nussbaum and Jack Marshall Stark.

Contact Us
Bar Association of
     Montgomery County, MD

27 West Jefferson St.
Rockville, MD 20850
Ph: 301-424-3454
Our Mission

We provide access to, and improve the administration of justice in our ever-evolving community. We offer valuable benefits, services and opportunities to our members. We advance the delivery of quality legal services by our members.