In Memoriam: F.J. (Jack) Mullins

Jack Mullins died peacefully at his home in Rancho Santa Fe, in the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011, after a brief illness following a fall. At his death, Jack was cared for by Hospice by the Sea, and surrounded by family and friends.

Frederic John Mullins was born in Salem, Ohio, on June 1, 1918, to Arthur and Marguerite Barckhoff Mullins. Jack was the middle of three children. Older sister Marianne pre-deceased him. His younger sister Priscilla (Sidi) currently lives in the Los Angeles area, near her children.

Jack developed his signature qualities of integrity and diligence while still a boy. He worked from elementary school onwards: shining shoes, shoveling coal into neighbors’ furnaces before school, and sweeping the tennis courts and caddying at the local country club. Jack attended Salem High School, Class of 1935. He was a “three-letter man”: football, basketball, and track.

Jack was recruited by the University of Chicago, which offered the 5’9” athlete a basketball scholarship. He majored in business, and also worked full-time as a night reservation agent for American Airlines. Jack was offered a daytime supervisory position, and left college after three years. He retired from American Airlines in 1972, as company Vice Chairman.

During his career, Jack managed operations at various airports (Washington, D.C., Detroit), and opened the American Airlines route to Mexico City, where the family lived for seven years. He was Director of Operations for the Southwest Region, based in Los Angeles, and including San Diego’s Lindbergh Field. In 1960, Jack became Director of Marketing, based in the New York City headquarters, retiring as Vice Chairman.

Jack and Jane moved to San Diego in the early 1980s, initially to Coronado. They bought land in Rancho Santa Fe and, soon thereafter, began to design their house. Jim Lippitt, a young contractor, did the construction. Jack was tremendously impressed with Jim’s work, and the two of them partnered in building houses in this part of the County for the next 30 years, until the end of Jack’s life.

Jack’s Rancho Santa Fe involvements were numerous, including Los Ancianos, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Fire District Board, to which he won election for several terms. He was part of PIC, a local public interest group. He and Jane were among the original members of the “Pickwits,” a group of 12 couples who met monthly. A different member every month made a presentation on a topic of his or her interest.

Jack was vibrant and active. Until his late 80s, he skied black diamond runs in Park City, Utah. He loved his three-times-a-week golf games. On non-golfing days, he walked 3 miles.

Jack is survived by his beloved wife of 70 years, Jane Anderson Mullins; his daughter Judy Anderson Mullins and spouse Morgan Stewart of Woodside, California; daughter-in-law Leslee Mullins of Encinitas; three grandchildren: Mary Jane Mullins of Encinitas, Amanda Troche and spouse Ray Troche of New Haven, Connecticut, and Jason Mullins, now a sophomore at San Jose State University; and one great-grandchild: Shyla Mullins, 7 months, Mary Jane’s daughter. Also surviving Jack is his sister Pricilla (Sidi) Keitel. Jack also leaves more than 30 loving nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his many dear friends.

Jack was pre-deceased by his son, David Arthur Mullins, who died of cancer in 1995 while on active duty in the U.S. Navy.

Jack Mullins was a loyal and generous man, unassuming despite his many successes, straightforward, and kind. He was a complete gentleman, who will be missed so much by so many.

A memorial gathering will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers: Hospice by the Sea, 312 South Cedros, Suite 250, Solana Beach, California 92075. www.hospicebythesea.org

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