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John “Jack” DeBolske

Posted By Jackie Andrews On July 26, 2017 @ 12:18 pm In Obituaries | 5 Comments

Jack passed away peacefully, surrounded by family at home after a 24-year battle with Parkinson’s. He was 89 years old. Jack was born in Los Angeles in 1927 and spent his early years there. After serving in the Navy from 1945-1947 he earned a Political Science degree from Loyola in 1951 followed by a Master’s in Public Administration. In 1957 he moved to Phoenix and spent the rest of his life in service to the people of Arizona, as the Executive Director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns and the Secretary of the Maricopa Association of Governments. He enjoyed all that Arizona has to offer, spending much of his time travelling around the state, camping, sailing, and fishing. He married the love of his life, Arlene in 1950; they were married 67 years. Jack is survived by Arlene; his brother Jim; his children David, Tom, Lisa, Beth, Kevin, Carol, and Mark; as well as 15 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. The Funeral service will be held at Noon on Saturday August 19, 2017 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 4715 N. Central, Phoenix 85012. A Celebration of Life will follow the funeral at the same location. In lieu of flowers, please donate to St. Vincent de Paul at https://www.stvincentdepaul.net/. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Hansen. Visit http://www.hansenmortuary.com for condolences.

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Condolence from Cliff newland on July 30th, 2017 7:39 pm

Jack has been my friend Beginning about 1932! I was in school with jim. Everywhere we went. Jack was there too. Always fun . There were six of us that were very close and like brothers. Later there was Arlene and Mary and our circle of friends grew. What a wonderful group. Many experiences, .jack was the politician and kept us on the right track. I miss times like that. Jack will always be a loving brother to me. Arlene, I can’t begin to express myself properly and the loss. I know you and your family have had. Know that I am praying for. You and you are surrounded by love from all of us.

Condolence from Maryanne Corder on July 31st, 2017 9:33 am

I would like to pay tribute to Jack DeBolske as a community leader and a man who changed local government for the better. His professionalism, wit and energy were evident as he served as the Executive Director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. I always remember his speech about “the government above us and the government below us.” He had a way of teaching us all about the responsibilities of local government, and I learned a great deal from him as a former Tempe City employee. His influence and memory will live on. It was a pleasure to work with him.

Condolence from Jim Pederson on August 5th, 2017 9:07 am

I first met Jack as a teenager. My dad was City Manager of Casa Grande and was on the selection committee that hired Jack as Executive Director of what was then the Arizona Municipal League. My Dad was very active in the League and I remember Jack at meetings I attended with my Dad and receptions at our home.

I had numerous interactions with Jack as my career progressed in Phoenix. The recent editorial by Bob Robb summed it by naming him as one of the most influential leaders in our State’s history. He was an influence on my life and will be greatly missed.

I regret that I will be out of town on the date of his funeral. My best wishes and sympathy to the family.

Condolence from Harry Wolfe on August 9th, 2017 12:25 am

I worked for Jack for 13 years as a transportation planner for the Maricopa Association of Governments. He was an inspirational leader and boss. While Jack was very demanding of his staff, he supported and was very loyal to us. It was an honor working for Jack.

Condolence from Penny Gorishek on August 12th, 2017 3:06 pm

My deepest sympathy to Arlene and family. I worked for Mr. DeBolske (never felt right calling him “Jack”) in the 60’s when the League of Arizona Cities and Towns was a four-person office. It was such a great learning experience for me and a daily challenge to keep up with his dictation. He could dictate incredibly fast! MAG was just getting started then and even with the extra work, he never missed a beat. Best boss I ever had, hands down! He will be missed greatly.

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