Mr. John (Jack) Joseph Anulies, 76, of Dahlonega, GA passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, July 16, 2020, at his home.
Jack was born October 25, 1943 in Riverdale, Maryland to Francis (Frank) Walter Anulies and Valeria Eva Anulies (née Sirvidas) who preceded him in death. He was the third of four children; his brother, Bernard Anulies and sisters, Geraldine Anulies and Janet McGreavey, also preceded him in death. Jack is survived by his son, Brian Anulies and his wife, Sheila; two grandchildren, Tyler and Haley; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
Though born in Maryland, Jack grew up in Northern Indiana. He graduated from Kendalville HS (Kendalville, IN) in 1961. He was proud to have worn the number 17 jersey for the Kendalville Comets football team; his first and only touchdown of his short football career occurred on his birthday in 1960. He kept a spike from his cleats and his varsity letter with other keepsakes until he passed. But beyond the gridiron, young Jack was indeed a real hero. One afternoon after football practice, Jack heard cries for help from a young girl who said that her sister and friend were drowning in the nearby lake. He and his assistant football coach swam deep into the lake where they quickly rescued one of the two submerged girls. Unfortunately, they found the second girl too late and she could not be resuscitated despite Jack’s best efforts.
Jack spent two years at Indiana University at Bloomington, IN, studying chemistry and fraternity life (Iota Delta chapter of Chi Phi) before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He eventually became a proud submarine sailor, serving as a fire-control technician onboard the USS Sam Houston (SSBN 609 – Blue Crew) alongside his brother Bernie for four years. The stories born from those years are not fit for publication but were the source of many fits of laughter as he would recall them in detail to any willing and appropriate audience. Jack was incredibly proud of his service; he often said that “earning his dolphins” was one of his greatest accomplishments.
After leaving active duty, Jack returned to college. He attended the University of Connecticut, graduating in 1974 with his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering. He later went on to become a Professional Engineer (PE) with certifications in Connecticut, Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Being a PE was a pinnacle achievement for Jack and he took this responsibility seriously. But despite the many projects during his career, there were only two that he would include in the collection he called “The Houses that Jack Built”. The first was his work on nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines with General Dynamics in Groton, CT. The second was his tenure as Quality Assurance Manager for steel erection during the construction of the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry, OH.
Jack was an incredibly intelligent man and an avid reader. Even during the last years of his life, he was enrolled at the University of North Georgia, taking classes in astronomy, archeology, geology, and physics. He was also an active member of the Blue Ridge Archeology Guild (BRAG) and a regular attendee of the Dahlonega Science Café gatherings. He developed some very deep friendships among these groups as they shared a common love of learning.
Jack enjoyed the outdoors from an early age. In his boyhood, he spent many hours floating and fishing the Elkhart River (next to his home). As a teen and young man, he hunted deer and squirrels. As he aged, he preferred simply to take long walks in the woods where he sharpened his expertise on wild plants, trees, and wildflowers. Throughout his life he loved collecting mushrooms; with his father, with the women of his life, with his son, or with anyone that might wish to join him. He was particularly partial to hunting morel mushrooms; his hot spots remaining a secret still between him and God.
And Jack’s obituary could not be considered complete if his love for dancing was overlooked. Jack loved to dance everything from ballroom to contemporary swing. During the last years of his life, he was a regular attendee for weekend dances at the American Legions in Alpharetta, GA and Gainesville, GA. Here too, Jack made many kind and dear friends. He was known for bringing roses to share with the ladies and he made an honest effort to dance with as many of them as his aging knees and back would allow. An anecdote that seems particularly appropriate was that when someone had recently lost a loved one, Jack would say, “there’s no better way to celebrate a life than by dancing”.
And perhaps less known to many, Jack was an excellent writer and poet. He had written hundreds of poems, most of which he never shared or published. But for those few individuals that touched his heart, he would share his works and perhaps even write a poem about them.
Jack cared deeply for those around him; he was loyal and generous to a fault. He had a special way about him that made people feel at ease. His advice was direct but kind. He had an unfaltering perspective on the important things in life and was never burdened by avarice or greed. Jack was never in a hurry so he had time to contemplate and savor those things that were important to him; people, life, and love.
Jack was consistent in death as he was in life. He was known for his Irish goodbyes, slipping away from dances and family events quietly and unnoticed. When he died, Jack drifted peacefully to sleep without any signs of pain or struggle, returning to his creator for a glorious reunion; once again sneaking home before anyone knew he was gone and could say their final goodbyes.
Jack was cremated on Saturday, July 18, 2020. At his own request, Jack’s ashes will be spread by his family in his boyhood home of Elkhart, Indiana, on his birthday this year. Therefore, lacking a gravesite, it seems altogether proper to end his obituary with the six words he would have wanted on his headstone, “Damn! I had a good time.”
P.S. Dad, I love you.
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