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It is with great sadness that Jack’s many Estonian friends received the news of his passing on June 24 in Annapolis, Maryland, less than three weeks before his 90th birthday, for which celebration plans had already been made. He was not only an outstanding American patriot, but also a true friend of Estonia and its people; a friend, who came to our assistance in our time of need.

 

Jack was born on July 13, 1928 in Evanston, Illinois, but grew up in East Orange, New Jersey. In 1945, two weeks before his 17th birthday, and less than two months before the end of World war II, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served for four years.

 

After completing his tour of duty in 1949, he entered the University of Maryland to study Criminology. There he met his future wife Constance Alexandra Cook, whom he married in 1951.

 

His studies were interrupted by an additional two-year enlistment in the Navy, after which he returned to the University of Maryland to complete his degree in Criminology, graduating in 1955.

 

That same year, Jack entered the Marine Corps Officer Candidate program, which started his service in this proud branch of the U.S. military. There he served as a Company Commander at the United States Naval Academy, in Annapolis, on the staff of the Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff

and from 1967 to 1968 in Vietnam as an officer of the first Tank Battalion. He retired from the military in 1970 with the rank of Major.

 

After 21 years of military service, Jack began a new career with the Maryland Police Force, from which he retired in 1993 as the Executive Director of the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission.

 

Being an energetic person, always striving for higher goals, Jack continued to further his education during these years by earning an M.A. in Management from the University of Maryland and graduating from the Armed Forces Staff College and the Maryland University/Aspen Government Executive Institute.

 

I met Jack first in 1991, after returning from a visit to Estonia, which was then starting to free itself from the Soviet yoke. While there, I had been made aware, in conversations with higher police officials, of the need for western police training in this newly liberated country. I presented the problem to Jack and, without hesitation, he agreed to use his executive authority to help Estonia. Thus, after an official request by the Republic of Estonia to the Governor of the State of Maryland, the Estonian Police Cadet training program was initiated in Maryland.

 

Shortly after retirement, Jack also volunteered to assist in the development of the Estonian National Defense Academy, spending several months in Estonia as an adviser to that institution. He returned to Estonia in 1997, where he joined me for a month as an advisor at the Academy.

 

When, in 1993, the United States started to educate young cadets from former Soviet-occupied countries at American Military Academies under the Partnership for Peace Program, Jack and Connie, living in Annapolis, volunteered immediately to sponsor the Estonian cadets at the US Naval Academy. As sponsors, they provided them with a home away from home, where they could spend their weekends and get parental attention and care. Thus, over a period of four years, four young Estonians came to know America and the generosity of its people in the Schuylers’ loving home. 

 

Jack also had a very successful personal life. Together with Connie they built a great family with three loving daughters and later many grand and great-grandchildren. 

 

While mostly good fortune had followed Jack through the years, he suffered a great personal loss about ten years ago when, Connie, his wife of more than 57 years, passed away. After several years of being alone, he found in Judith McDonnell Schuyler, a worthy companion for the rest of his life.

 

John Anthony Schuyler lived a full life and accomplished a lot. But even more important, he was a man of principle and character, qualities which are essential in building and maintaining a great nation and a free society. He understood well the presently popular demands for the rights of individuals and the obligation of society towards them. But he also knew that with this came responsibility towards one’s community and the obligation to contribute to its wellbeing.

 

And, he was also a man with a big heart, who found room therein not only for his family and country, the mighty United States of America, but also for a small, faraway nation that was struggling to free itself from Soviet tyranny and achieve freedom and justice for its people. For this, we Estonians, are forever grateful to him.

 

Thank you Jack for your friendship! May you rest in peace in the House of the Lord!

 

Fred Ise

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