Brother to Joanne Burnham (McDermott), of Bradenton, FL, Uncle to Maureen Basye (Burnham) and her husband Geoff of Herndon, VA and their children, Patrick, Peter and Margaret. He was preceded in death by his parents John and Marguerite Devine McDermott also of Chestnut Hill.
The Devine’s and the McDermott’s have been an integral part of Chestnut Hill and Our Mother of Consolation Church since the early 1900’s. Jack was a member of the class of 1970 at LaSalle University. He was a dedicated coach and mentor to literally thousands of children. As a young adult, he was a local CYO coach in Chestnut Hill helping many local kids learn the games of basketball and baseball. Peanut ran numerous house leagues for boys and girls and entered many teams in City Wide competitions. Peanut didn’t just coach; he educated his players on the rules of the game and instilled in them a sense of responsibility for good sportsmanship and dedication to team. He was a true community staple.
After his work in Chestnut Hill, Jack joined the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Recreation and excelled there for more than 30 years. He was appointed as an ARL at Venice Island Playground in 1969 and worked there and at Hillside until his appointment to RLI at Morris Estate in 1974. He then transferred to Feltonville Recreation. In 1981 he was promoted to RLII and assigned to Stokley before assignments at Heitzman and Max Myers. After his final promotion he was assigned to the Athletic Recreation Center in North Philadelphia.
Jack was an award-winning coach and mentor. Jack was the most active softball coach in the Department of Recreation in the 1970’s and 1980’s. His love for the sport and his unmatched enthusiasm for his job created many Girl’s City Championship teams. More importantly, he was an inspiration and positive influence to the many kids he mentored from the ages of 6 to 18.
In his retirement years beginning in 2006, Peanut enjoyed traveling and playing golf with his dearest friends. He was a self-proclaimed singer much to his friends chagrin and enjoyed his own unique versions of Country Roads, Margaritaville and Sweet Caroline. For the first time, his singing voice will be missed. An avid Philadelphia sports fan, often found court-side at Villanova basketball games or in the stands supporting his Phillies, Jack’s love of sport and competition brightened the lives of the so many people he called friends.
Everyone that knew Jack has their own special story to tell. Family, loved ones and patrons are invited to a celebration of Jack’s life to be held on Friday, September 29 at Our Mother of Consolation Church, 9 E. Chestnut Hill Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19118, at 9AM. Funeral Mass 10AM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111. Please note “Head and Neck Cancer Research” in your gift.