In Memoriam: Hon. Jack Como

Dear Members and Friends,
It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of the Hon. Jack Como, beloved friend and supporter of the Italian American community, who passed away on Monday, February 24, 2014.

Giacomo (Jack) Como, born April 1, 1924 in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Italy and died on February 24, 2014 in Queens, New York. Jack led a most interesting adult life as an engineer, educator, administrator, labor leader and community activist. A product of Stuyvesant High School and a veteran of World War II, Jack attended New York University where he received both his Bachelor and his Master of Mechanical Engineering degrees. As a student, he was president of Pi Tau Sigma, the National Honor Society of Mechanical Engineers, and a member of the overall engineering National Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi. Jack continued his studies beyond his Master Degree completing 24 credits in Applied Mechanics at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and New York University. Years later he attended Adelphi University where he graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree.
After spending four years with General Electric Co. as a research and development engineer, Jack returned to New York University as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering to full time teaching of undergraduate and graduate engineering courses. When he returned to Industry some years later as a senior program manager in the missile and space program, he continued to teach engineering as an Adjunct Professor at New York University and Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. In addition, he served as President of a 2000 plus member Engineers Association and was responsible for negotiating contracts over a 20 year period.
Jack was always a man of vision who lived his life with the belief that the well-being of the individual is directly related to the well-being of his family and his community. He believed that half the secret of getting along in life is tolerance of other people's views and that the “other half is tolerance of one's own views.” With this philosophy, Jack engaged in community activity at a level that would test the straining point of most people.
Jack has been cited on numerous occasions for outstanding service to the education, civic and religious community. He has been President of Community School Board #26; Vice-Chairman, Parliamentarian and Zoning Chairman of Planning Board #11Q; Treasurer of the Auburndale Civic Association; member of the Queens Council of Civic Associations; member of the Queens Federation of Civic Councils; President of St. Kevin's Parish Council; Treasurer of St. Kevin's Holy Name Society, Lector, Usher and baseball coach; founder, Vice President and Education Chairman of Americans of Italian Heritage, Inc.; member of the Board of Directors and Parliamentarian of the Coalition of Italo-American Associations, representative on the New York Conference of Italian American State Legislators' Advisory Committee on Urban Public Higher Education, Chair, Lt. Det. Joseph Petrosino Association in America, Inc.; Chair, IAPAC, Inc.; member of the New York City Youth Board, Board Member and Treasurer of the Italian Heritage and Culture Month Committee, Inc., Advisory Board Member of the Italian American Museum and Chairman and President of the Italian American Legal Defense and Higher Education Fund, Inc.
Over the years, Jack dedicated his energy and time towards helping Italians and Italian Americans rid themselves of the negative stereotypes that have plagued them over the past century and towards eliminating the pervasive and insidious discrimination that has kept them from reaching their maximum potential. As a member of the Legislative Committee on Urban Higher Education, Jack took a very active role to rid the CUNY system of discrimination against Italian Americans in hiring practices for faculty and staff, in promoting graduate programs in Italian and Italian American Studies and persevering and advancing the academic status and stature of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute.
Jack was married to his life long love and best friend, Helen, together they produced six sons (all college graduates), six beautiful daughters-in-law, thirteen gorgeous grandchildren and one great granddaughter. To say that Jack has led a full and productive life would be an understatement.

Visitation Hours:
Frederick Funeral Home
192-15 Northern Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11358
Tel. 718.357.6100
Thursday, February 27 and Friday, February 28
2:00 to 5:00pm and 7:00 to 9:00pm

Mass of Christian Burial:
St. Kevin's Church
45-21 194th Street
Flushing, NY 11358
Saturday, March 1, 9:45am

Internment:
Mount St. Mary's Cemetery
172-00 Booth Memorial Avenue
Flushing, NY 11365

The Italian American Museum extends its deepest condolences to the Como family on the loss of their beloved patriarch and our dear friend.
May his soul rest in peace.

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