Jack Van Amringe
10/11/1932 – 5/24/2014
Friend to all, enemy of none, longtime Pasadena resident and philanthropist John H. “Jack” Van Amringe passed away peacefully May 24th, 2014, surrounded by loved ones.
Born October 11, 1932, Jack grew up in Altadena where he attended Elliott, Muir and Pasadena City College. At 17, he joined the Army National Guard and in 1952 was sent to Korea where he served as a radio operator in the 40th Infantry Division during the war. Upon returning home, he enrolled at UCLA, where he earned BA and Masters degrees in geology. During those years of study, he met the love of his life, Mary Jane Lothras of Pasadena. They married in 1955.
Jack was hired by Unocal and thrived in his chosen profession. He worked as an exploration geologist in Louisiana and California, where he was promoted to Exploration Manager of the Western Region and later served as Vice President of Exploration, Oil and Gas Division. He was elected President of the Lafayette, Louisiana Geological Society and named Geologist of the Year in 1972.
During his stint in Lafayette and New Orleans, Jack and Mary Jane nurtured a cherished group of fun-loving friends and later did the same in Pasadena. Their life together was filled with ceaseless activities, community involvement and marked by a boundless generosity of spirit that touched many other lives.
Upon retirement in 1992, Jack hit his stride, as he and Mary Jane travelled the world and dove headlong into their interests in sailing, tennis, golf, photography, collecting, music and writing. Along the way, he found time to serve on the Board of Directors of the Pasadena City College Foundation and as President of the Pasadena Community Orchestra.
Above all, Jack was a family man who cherished and nurtured a daughter and son and, later, three grandchildren; instilling in them his qualities of open-mindedness, benevolence and kindness towards all. He never stopped exploring, never stopped learning, and his curiosity and joy of life has been passed down through two generations.
Jack is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 57 years Mary Jane, and is survived by his daughter Kathryn Allison and her husband Brian; son Ken Van Amringe and his wife Mary and three grandchildren: Lindsay, Kate and Griffin.
Jack and his wife Mary Jane were strong supporters of the PCC Foundation, PCO Foundation and loyal contributors to the Van Amringe Scholarship Fund established in honor of Jack’s father Edwin “Van” Van Amringe in 1957, and recently donated “The Mary Jane and Jack Van Amringe Piano Classroom” in the Center for the Arts. To carry on the family tradition and in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the PCC Foundation online at www.pasadena.edu/give or by check to PCC Foundation (in the memo area write “Jack Van Amringe Fund”) 1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106.