John J. “Jack” McGlynn, former Medford Mayor, City Councillor, State Representative and World War II Ghost Army veteran died peacefully at home in the company of his family on Saturday afternoon. He was 94. Raised on Harvard St in Medford, he was the son of the late Anthony C. and Catherine P. (McCormack) McGlynn.
A graduate of St. Clement High School with the class of 1939, Jack enlisted in the Army in 1942, soon after America’s entry into the War. Jack, like many young men of his generation, was nurtured in the austerities of the Great Depression and was tried and tested in the battlefield of freedom. He served in what became known as the Ghost Army. After basic training, Jack was trained as a cryptographer. He was then selected and trained for a top secret group which engaged in psychological warfare and deceptive tactics against the Germans. Once Staff Sergeant McGlynn’s unit landed on Utah Beach, they went about the work of creating false radio traffic, dummy equipment depots for fictitious units, and staged mock advances with the help of amplified recordings of tanks and soldiers. This confounded German efforts to hold back the Allied advance and helped hasten the end of the War. Jack earned four combat stars among other commendations for his wartime service. The work of the unit was only recently uncovered. Because of its classified tactics and existence, veterans of the group never spoke of the details of their combat until the information became unclassified.
Jack married the love of his life, Helen (Lenox), just before his departure for Europe. Upon his return from the military and reunion with Helen, they not only began their family but also a business, McGlynn Florist in Medford, which Jack operated for many years. He also continued his education, earning a Bachelor of Laws from New England School of Law and completing Pre-Legal studies at Northeastern and Suffolk Universities. Jack also embarked on a career of public service which spanned over 50 years. Again, like many of the men and women who served during the War, Jack continued on a path of service to his fellow citizens. He was first elected to the Medford City Council in 1956, serving until 1977. He was also elected as State Representative, 26 Middlesex District in 1958 serving until 1973. He served as Medford’s Mayor, which also included the chairmanship of the School Committee, from 1962 to 1967, 1970 to 1971 and 1976 to 1977. Mayor McGlynn’s accomplishments improved the lives Medford’s citizens and provided a framework for the City’s steady growth and stability. He led the way to build a new Medford High School after the devastating fire of 1965. He pioneered efforts in support of civil rights in the City. He led the way to increase senior citizen housing opportunities. He was instrumental in getting both Hormel Stadium and LoConte Rink built. As a Legislator on Beacon Hill, he introduced and fought for the enactment of the Public Records Law.
Once out of the Legislature, Jack served as Deputy Secretary of State under Paul Guzzi. There Jack was the driving force behind the construction of a new state archives and record center.
Jack served in the Administration of Governor Edward J. King. First as director of intergovernmental Relations and then as Chief Secretary to the Governor, managing the Governors 70 member staff, direction policy and programing for the executive branch and carrying forward all necessary executive actions in the Governor’s absence.
From 1983 to 1997 he was Commissioner of the Division of Public Employee Retirement. He oversaw and protected over 100 retirement systems and ensured the consistent application of public retirement laws. He implemented safeguards against retirement fraud and implemented programs to assist injured workers in rehabilitation and return to the workforce. From 1998 until his retirement, Jack was a Special Sheriff in Middlesex County and established community counseling centers in Cambridge and Lowell to assist those on probation to reintegrate into their communities.
A disabled veteran, Jack was a member of the Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He strongly advocated as a Mayor, Councillor and Representative, for the promotion of veteran’s rights and benefits.
A onetime candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Jack was active in the campaigns of many local state and national candidates. He was a friend, supporter and organizer for President John F. Kennedy. As a member of the Board of Directors and as Chairman of the Medford Co-operative Bank, he advocated for the common man and made sure people could receive reasonable mortgage rates to buy homes.
The beloved husband of the late Helen (Lenox) McGlynn, Jack is the devoted father of: Atty. Jack McGlynn, Jr and his wife Atty. Diane of Ipswich, Atty. Dick McGlynn and his wife Paula, Karen McGlynn Devine, Former Mayor Michael J. McGlynn and his wife Sheila, Bernadette Davis and her husband Jon, all of Medford and Kevin B. McGlynn of New York City. He leaves his loving grandchildren: Stacey Stone and her husband Donnie, Colleen Moody and her husband Craig, Annie Walsh and her husband Former Rep. Steve Walsh; Richard, Michael and his wife Jessica, and John McGlynn; Kristina Devine Pyrcz and her husband Patrick, Jeffrey Devine; Kathleen Brady and her husband Atty. William, Jennifer Belanger and her husband Aaron, Amanda McGlynn and her fiancé Patrick Collins; Jonathan and Kaitlyn Davis. He was a loving and proud great-grandfather to Jack, Margaret and Claire Stone; Buckley “Bo” and Traigh Moody; Coley, Myles, Maeve and Brigid Helen Walsh; Cameron and Brennan Belanger; Helen, Catherine and Nora Brady and the late CJ Moody. Jack also was a dear brother to Jacqueline Raimo and her late husband Frank, Richard McGlynn and his wife Betty, Maureen McGillicuddy and her husband Gene, the late Claire Valente and her late husband James and also leaves many nieces and nephews.
Mayor McGlynn will lie in repose in the Howard F. Alden Memorial Chamber of Medford City Hall on Thursday 4 – 8 PM and Friday 4 – 7 PM. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to visit. Funeral procession from the Dello Russo Funeral Home, 306 Main St., Medford, Saturday August 27 at 10 AM followed by a funeral mass celebrated in St. Joseph Church, 118 High Street, Medford, at 11 AM. Services will conclude with military honors and burial at Oak Grove Cemetery, Medford.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in Jack’s name to the Early Intervention Consortium – CJ Moody Fund c/o Alex Chatfield Minute Man Arc, 1269 Main St., Concord, MA 01742, www.cjmoodyfund.com or to Granara-Skerry Trust for Pancreatic Cancer Research, 20 Butler St., Medford, MA 02155 www.pancure.org.
Obituary from Dello Russo Funeral Service