Upper Darby lost a friend and tireless champion of the community. Former Upper Darby Councilman, former football coach, former truant office director, Jack Shingle died February 13th. Jack Shingle was a friend, a mentor, a community spokesman and the love he had for Upper Darby was seen in so many ways. Jack Shingle made Upper Darby his home, for over 60 years even graduating from Upper Darby High School. Jack married his wife, Dorothy, raised his children Dorothy, Jack (III) and proudly made Upper Darby his home.
Jack Shingle served his community in the Upper Darby High School and local CYO football programs where he coached for decades. A Republican, he was also Upper Darby’s 4th District Councilman for 20 years before stepping down in 2011. Jack was a fixture in the area. Once, when the equipment bin was broken into at the Observatory Park and the phone call to the police was made, Jack made it to the playground faster than the Upper Darby police department. He was instrumental in helping the area playgrounds have snack stands that were a great addition to the teams that played at the various playgrounds.
There were so many times that Jack Shingle stepped up to care for those in the community. A few years before Jack Shingle retired as a Councilman, an employee of the township passed away suddenly. He had worked in the sanitation department since he had graduated from high school. When Jack was told of this man’s untimely death, he was right there to help the family through the funeral arrangements, making sure others in the township knew of this man’s death and then finally helped raise money so the family could make ends meet. There are so many examples of Jack’s generosity throughout the years for this community that it is difficult to narrow down the acts of kindness that Jack displayed.
On a personal note, Jack Shingle was my friend. Jack was a mentor who taught me to speak up for my neighborhood and instead of just picking at what is wrong doing something about it. Don’t wait for the next guy to fix it, get up and do the work yourself. Create the environment you want to be in. Take care of your family and your neighbors. The phrase it takes a village, well that could be said of Jack Shingle. Jack Shingle was the village helping many of us live in the best that Upper Darby could be.
To the Shingle family, thank you for sharing your dad with us. So many of us as kids have Jack Shingle to thank for mentoring us, for coaching us and for setting us on the right path. Most of all, thank you Jack Shingle for being you. Thank you for all the hours you gave to this community.