Remembering My Friend and Mentor
As you may have heard, Jack O’Loughlin, the Owner of Bay Gas Service passed away last Thursday, one day shy of his 79th birthday.
I would like to express my deepest sympathies to Jack’s wife Marilyn; his three children; Jeanne Marie, Susan and John; Jack’s stepchildren: Jackie and Craig; and Jack’s 17 grandchildren.
Most importantly, on behalf of the residents of Mastic, Shirley and Mastic Beach I want to thank the O’Loughlin family for sharing Jack with us.
For the past 15 years I have had the opportunity to work with Jack managing the South Shore Press.
Jack was a visionary.
He could see miles down the road and could see things in you that you never saw in yourself.
Jack would often say “Fred, God doesn’t give everything to one person.”
Jack truly believed in people, often when they didn’t believe in themselves.
Jack was a behind the scene’s guy. He never really wanted to be the focus of attention. He always did things for the right reasons.
He loved seeing results. He loved helping people.
However, for those of us who knew and loved him, he wasn’t always the warm and fuzzy type.
He was all about work.
He was all about results.
And he never had patience for nonsense or people who would say NO.
I first met Jack when I was a member of the Suffolk County Legislature.
He was having a problem with getting public water to his facility.
After numerous meetings and telephone calls, we were able to get Jack that water which helped his business grow.
Little did I know at that time how significant that meeting would be to both of us later in our lives.
During my time in office Jack and John and I would talk often about the community.
Jack would always offer to help by giving advice, using his connections, sending his crews to do work and in many situations making a donation.
Jack was always fast on his feet. He would tell you the way he saw it, even if you didn’t want to know.
He would use his famous saying after working through a problem or issue:
After I left office in 2005, I had a meeting with Jack and John and we decided to purchase the South Shore Press.
Jack felt it was important that the local community paper be strong and fight to help the community it serves.
As time has gone by and I have had an opportunity to work with, learn from and study Jack, I realized what a special person he truly was.
Jack, as many of you know, originally started in the fuel oil and propane business.
He decided that oil was not the way to go and used lines of credit to start purchasing numerous propane companies.
His goal was to make sure Bay Gas Service produced the best product at the best price while continuing to provide the best service in the industry.
Jack was a very proud man.
Jack was big on many things – Such as propane vehicles.
Most of Jack’s fleet runs on propane.
I could just see the conversation in Heaven right now. Jack is sitting with God and telling him:
“God you don’t understand. We can protect the environment and save money if you let me convert the Godmobile to propane gas.”
Jack was proud of where he had come from. He was proud of his company and his employees.
Jack recently told me in a conversation how much he loved each of his children and grandchildren. He spoke of the importance of what he had accomplished with his life and business and that most importantly how pleased and proud he was of his son John and how John was ready and prepared to take over the company and bring it to the next level.
Jack was involved with many groups such as the old Montauk Highway Merchants Association, and the Chamber of Commerce of the Mastics and Shirley, where he served as a director. Jack also served as a volunteer on the Christmas Parade Committee and last year helped organize a holiday food drive.
I am pleased to announce that in honor of Jack, earlier last week the Christmas parade committee named him as one of our 2016 grand marshals for this year’s Christmas parade.
Jack also quietly supported his church, the local food pantry, Colonial Youth and the Boy Scouts. He handled local landscaping at the chamber’s community information corner and most recently refurbished the chamber’s Christmas float.
Jack would donate thousands of dollars and products to numerous other community groups, charities, political organizations and candidates each and every year.
Jack who would have turned 79 on Friday lived life to its fullest every day.
He was a man among men. He will be missed by many but most of all by his community. A community, that he fought for every day.
Thank you Jack for all that you have done for me and my family.
Jack you should know that you continue to inspire each of us to be better human beings and to do more for others. We love and miss you.
Rest in peace my friend.
Fred Towle Jr.