Let Freedom Ring Must Reads

A Personal Tribute to Jack Templeton
By Colin A. Hanna

Let Freedom Ring's Pespective


Original Article

JMT photoLet Freedom Ring lost a great friend and supporter when Jack Templeton passed away a few days ago. Any remembrance of him begins for me with an observation on the character of the man that incorporates his faith as well as his intellect, so I’ll say it this way: Jack Templeton had the purest heart, and the most Christ-like mind, of anyone I have ever known.

About his heart. Here is what Jack’s friends all knew: It was filled with love – love for God, love for his family, and love for his country. We often hear about unconditional love, but we seldom experience it even from our closest friends and family. Jack radiated it. He knew Jesus Christ as his savior, and always wanted to return God’s unconditional love in his relationships with others. And his best was a lot better than that of any of the rest of us.

He loved his family above all else on earth: his precious wife Pina, an accomplished, remarkable woman, and his daughters Heather and Jennifer, towards whom he was devoted and of whom he was immensely proud. His respect for his father was deep and enduring, and was manifested in the honor he paid that great man’s values, maxims, and relentless quest of the truth and new discoveries in the physical and spiritual worlds. Jack’s primary focus after he retired from his own highly successful medical practice was honoring the donor intent of his father—it trumped any personal penchant or priority.

He loved the people who worked with him (he never treated them as if they worked for him) and he loved the people he met in the daily interactions of ordinary life, regardless of what once might have been referred to as their “station in life.” Jack took a genuine interest in those whose paths crossed his own. He had been around wealth and its attendant privileges all his life, yet saw it as primarily a means to do good and to help others. He cared about people.

He loved our nation, but not with the shallow, sentimental sorts of expressions of patriotism that we hear so often from politicians. Jack was a patriot who understood the ideas and values of America. He had a reverence for our Founders, and fully appreciated that ordered liberty was the goal and essence of their bold experiment in self-government. He venerated the Founders’ recognition of virtues as the necessary components of leadership. Two of them became the title of one of his books: Thrift and Generosity. Others might consider them near opposites. He considered them complementary and mutually essential. Jack didn’t merely possess the Founders’ virtues – he personified them.

Now about Jack’s mind. It was always lively, imaginative and passionately interested in learning. He wanted to support projects whose impact had the potential to be both measurable and enduring. He loved the words “enduring impact,” and proposing and executing projects that met that standard became my own mission – and even when I fell short, he never made me feel that my efforts had been futile. At the end of each project, he was just as interested in what had been learned as he was in what had been accomplished. Post-project briefings with Jack were always focused on the future.

Jack considered clarity of thought to be the minimum standard for seriousness of thought. This led him to be intolerant of empty-headed tolerance, and somewhat more likely than most to hold civic leaders accountable. When they erred – and especially when they erred badly – he was not content to glibly dismiss them as well-intentioned, naïve or simply inexperienced, trying their best to muddle through. He believed that they held a public trust, and he held them to higher standards of good and evil, right and wrong.

Jack Templeton was a man of memorable heart and mind, a man who was humble, generous, loyal and unforgettable. He made us all better at whatever we did, and that’s why he will be so missed by all of us who had the privilege of working with him.
Last week he met the highest standard of all: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” May we all be inspired by him to aspire to the same.

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