Jacob "Jack" Thaler
Sanbornton -----Jacob “Jack” Thaler, 81, died at the Lakes Region General Hospital, Laconia on Tuesday, November 10, 2009.
Jack was born in 1928 in the Paterson-Hawthorne area of northern New Jersey. Later he moved to Lake Hopatcong, NJ where he met and married Eileen. In 1975, he and Eileen (Saunders) Thaler spent the last 34 years living in beautiful New Hampshire. His love of the outdoors started as a Boy Scout in the then rural area of N.J. and he really did walk 3 miles to school every day.
With the advent of WW II, Jack enlisted in the U.S. Merchant Marine at the age of 16 and spent the next two years on convoys to North Africa, the Mediterranean, France and England on oil and gas tankers and troop transports. Because of a voyage with war materials to Murmansk, Russia, he was awarded a citation and medal from the Russian government in 1992, the youngest to receive this award.
Professionally, Jack started with his father’s construction company but soon went out on his own and spent the next 54 years as “Sheetrock ‘N Taping” by Jack Thaler. Only illness stopped his work and he was still getting calls the day he passed. Many homes and businesses, both in N.J. and N.H. received the benefit of Jack’s professional expertise.
He had many outside interests. In his teens he started a “Cowboy Western” band which was the rage in the 40s and 50s. As a young man, he was a member of the Hawthorne Caballeros, a nationally famous Drum and Bugle Corps. More recently, he sang with the “Lakes Region Chordsmen.” In his early 20s, he appeared on N.J. television in exhibition Square Dancing and did professional Ice Skating at Madison Square Garden. He came to know Ray Bolger (the Scarecrow in the “Wizard of Oz”) and Tex Ritter. In his spare time, he studied television broadcasting and did some directing of off-Broadway New York City shows. He also was successful in writing some children’s stories for publication.
Eventually his love of the outdoors won out and he started Sled Dog racing, having the first competitive team in N.J. He raced in Canada, Minnesota, New York and New England. Training in New Hampshire eventually led to his move to the Granite State. In his later years, Jack spent many hours gold panning in streams around the state and hiking with family. Jack and Eileen would often be seen driving the back roads of the Lakes Region and in parades in his fully restored 1942 Ford WW II jeep. He also enjoyed traveling, especially the West. He cheered for the Patriots and Notre Dame, but his all time favorite was Joe Montana.
In the 70s and 80s, he and Eileen were often found at craft shows where he sold his barnboard creations, which he continued to make for family members as treasured gifts.
Jack leaves his loving, devoted wife of 34 years, Eileen, his daughter, Lisa (Thaler) Coates, and husband, Michael, granddaughters, Annie and Emily Coates, of Hawthorne, N.J., his sister-in-law, Carolyn Saunders, and her partner, Ed Murdock, of N.J., his brother-in-law, James Saunders, and his wife, Mary, of Massachusetts, his brother-in-law, Edmund Saunders, and his wife, Kathleen, of N.J. and his nieces and nephews all of whom he loved very much. He also leaves many cousins and good friends in N.J., N.H. and throughout the country.
There will be no calling hours.
Military Honors will be held on Monday November 16, 2009 at 10:00AM in the Chapel at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery, 110 DW Highway, Boscawen, NH.
In lieu of flowers, Jack’s wish was that expressions of sympathy be made to the N.H. Humane Society, PO Box 572, Laconia, NH 03247.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH 03246 is assisting the family.