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Father Knows JCHE Best

In honor of Father’s Day, we sat down with Jack and his daughter Ellen, both Coleman House residents, to get a better sense of how JCHE’s affordable housing, programs, and services impact their family.

Coleman residents Jack and his daughter Ellen

“This has been the best time of his life,” says Ellen, whose father, Jack, moved into our Coleman House in Newton thirteen years ago.

A few months before moving here, Jack’s wife passed away. Ellen was, of course, anxious about how her father would cope with such a profound loss.

To her great relief, moving to JCHE turned out to be a joyous experience for Jack, who turns 98 in August.    

“Everyone was so welcoming. I could sense he was happy again,” recalls Ellen, who herself moved into Coleman last November, making Jack and Ellen our only father and daughter residents.

Ellen remembers her father working long hours and rarely having any leisure time. Now he stays active on his own terms. He serves on the tenants’ council. He is a member of Newton’s local veterans’ group. He attends the many events, luncheons, and lectures JCHE organizes. And after all that, he still has plenty of time left to play dominos.

A WWII veteran, Jack took part in D-Day, fighting on the beaches of Normandy as a field artillery soldier in the First Army.

Following the war, Jack returned to his native Boston, where he purchased a cab that he drove until retirement. The veteran’s vibrant sense of humor shines through as he jokes, “Driving a cab was more dangerous than fighting in a war: I didn’t get shot in the Army, but I got shot driving a cab!”

Ellen, who calls her dad “my best buddy,” agrees wholeheartedly when Jack says, “This is the best of everything. JCHE does everything very well.” 

Thank you, Jack and Ellen, for sharing your heartwarming story, and Happy Father’s Day from all of us at JCHE!