View Full Version : Sad News for Quincy Fans

05-25-2007, 11:55 AM
I have just learned that Jack McGrury passed away this morning. Jack was a long time employee of Quincy Welding and one of their head engine builders. For those of you who did not know Jack, he was one of the nicest, most helpful guys in racing. Jack was always in the pits to make sure everyone's Quincy Looper ran.

He and Gene East spent many a night in a motel room not sleeping, but rebuilding someone's Looper so they could race the next day.

Jack did not get a lot of the credit that he should have. He was the one who built most of Jerry Waldman's engines and everyone knows how well they ran.

After Jack left Quincy Welding, he ran a small shop where he worked on outboards and some race engines. He kept most of us Mod guys going for several years as well as working on Jim Warren's alky stuff.

Please join me in extending our deepest sympathy to Jack's wife, Sandy, and their children.

He will be deeply missed by all of us here in Quincy.

The attached photo was taken at Christner Reunion in 2003 in Quincy. This is the old crew. Jack is the gentleman to the far right.

Gene East
05-25-2007, 12:16 PM
I was so saddened to get Artie's call today.
He is so right, Jack was indeed one of the unsung heros at Quincy Welding.
Few if any were his equal to building an engine.
Jack deserves far more credit than he ever received, but he didn't care about that. He was satisfied just to see his motors running up front
Wayne Baldwin once posted on this forum that I could change a piston between heats.
Wayne had me confused with Jack!
That statement was not true of me, but it was certainly true of Jack.
He accomplished that feat on more than one occassion.
Jack was looking forward to being at DePue. I'm so sorry he won't be there.
We'll all miss you dear friend, but we'll meet again on Lake Paradise.
Say Hi to Chris, Gerry, Earle, Clem, Lee and all the others who are waiting for us

Original Looper 1
05-25-2007, 02:46 PM
I too am saddened at the passing of Jack McGrury and I too send my love, sympathy & support to Sandy, his beloved wife, and their children.

Many insiders with Quincy Welding knew the degree of Jack's contributions to the progress of Quincy Welding's achievements in pro outboard racing, but many here know just a small fraction of Jack's major achievements while acting as head engine builder and crew chief of Quincy Welding's legacy.

Just one example: In the mid 1960's, when the Loopers were the dominant engine being raced, I rode my bicycle to the shop right before the Depue Nationals and walked upstairs to where the race engines were assembled by Jack and crew. I noticed a huge amount of Looper power heads waiting to be rerung and rebuilt before Depue, so I counted them. There were 64 engines and Jack had less than 2 weeks to completely disassemble and rebuild all 64 Loopers. Being Jack, the great engine man that he was, he accomplished the challenge and went on to Depue to help and service the many Looper customers' engine needs at the races.

Another example was the 1971 Nationals, also at Depue. Dad and I were in Florida at the time and flew up to Illinois for the races. When we got to Chicago, dad called the shop to see how things were going for the Nationals, and Lucy, the secretary, told us that Jack had made a franic call for us to send up by bus asap to Depue enough engine rings to rering 45 Looper engines. It seems that on the dyno at the time, the ring end gap was reduced and the piston clearances were tightened but on the water, the change was a complete failure because the rings blew in and the motors wouldn't accelerate. Well, the bus arrived with the rings and Jack helped change the rings back to a tighter end gap for all 45 Looper engines at the races within a 2 day period. That was the year that Gerry Waldman went on to win 5 championships in one weekend, a historic first.

Who else but Jack could accomplish what he managed to do under such pressure? Mechanics like Jack are few and far between. It's a shame he didn't get to attend the Depue Reunion, but he will be with us in our hearts.


Paul A Christner
on behalf of the Christner Family

Frank Volker
05-25-2007, 03:26 PM
This is sad news.

I had the pleasure of working side-by-side with Jack. He did top-quality work whether he was repairing a pleasure boat, building a race engine, or tuning a chain saw. He was one of those rare individuals who could work long hours, lose tons of sleep, but never lose his sense of humor. I'm proud to have worked with him, drank beer with him, and laughed with him. My deepest sympathies to Sandy in her loss of a loving husband and dearest friend.


Gene East
05-28-2007, 01:06 PM
Jack's obituary is posted on www.hansenspear.com

Gene East
05-28-2007, 06:26 PM
Those of us who were at the funeral home tonight will remember Jack McGrury as he really was.

Few if any of us ever saw Jack dressed in a suit and we didn't see that tonight.

Sandy in her loving wisdom laid Jack to rest in his favorite bib overalls and his
Merc-Quincy Racing Team shirt. She even placed a spray of Quincy Welding
YELLOW roses on the casket.

In his hands were the goldplated master mechanic wrench that Mark Hummelsheim gave him on his 74th birthday and a dirty, greasy, used starting rope.

This was the Jack we all knew and loved

Art Neadeck placed a Quincy shoulder patch in the casket. Art said, "This is Jack's pit pass at Lake Paradise".

There is a "Super Mechanic" turning wrenches at Lake Paradise tonight and reliving some wonderful memories with his buddies who have been waiting for him.

Good bye for a while Old Friend.

We'll see you again

Mark Crabtree
05-29-2007, 09:06 AM
I ask that someone please hold a moment of silence for Jack at Depue and here is one reason why.

Quincy Welding and Marine was always at the heart of modified and alky racing, at the least. And within that, was Jack McGrury. I will give you a slight insight to Jacks quiet vision in engine building and design. He was one of those mechanics, that was beyond a mechanic. He was world class.

Jack did something to the inside of a modified 44 cubic Merc way back in the 1970's that I did not recognize the importance of, until recently. My very close friend "Cory Oneill" set a world record in top alky in NHRA, powered by his 377 Chevrolet engine, which that record today is unbroken. Cory built a copy of the same engine for my son and showed me partly (but very importantly) why he set a world record. Though I cannot tell you what it is, to my amazement and over 30 years later, there it was, inside Cory's engine, the same exact thing that Jack McGrury did, that 30 years earlier.

To set the record straight. What was inside that 44CI Merc, was not an innovation or development from Quincy Welding and Marine, it was from Jack McGrury and that I can prove.

Thank you Jack for all you did my friend. I will miss you.


Master Oil Racing Team
05-30-2007, 06:17 AM
I am sorry to say that I didn't know Jack, but I did witness some of the things he did at the time without knowing it. I'm glad for you guys to set the record straight. There are a lot of the pit crews from those days I would recognize, but not know their names. The only Quincy guys I knew were of course Chris and Jim Schoch, but the only pit crewman I really knew was Gene. So I guess after Joe and I had seen Gene sprint from one end of the pits to the other one day carrying a 44 looper, we just figured Gene was at the heart of changing out that piston.

I am amazed to hear the number of engines Jack went through just before the nationals. The first time I saw him swap pistons between heats was at the nationals in Depue just below the VFW Taco Stand. And it wasn't a two cylinder it was either a 44 or 60ci. There was a big crowd around the motor. I guess it was all the Quincy guys, but now I know that Jack was at the center of the action. The second time was in Alexandria, so I knew it wasn't a fluke and was probably done a number of times at races I didn't attend.

In testimony to Quincy and Jack's ability, the very first invitational held at Hot Springs where Jerry Waldman was killed, Jerry was high point winner. This was at a time when Konigs were dominating the scene. Jerry won C and F hydro and this was with drivers like Billy Seebold, Clayton Elmer, Ray Nydahl, Jerry Petersen, Wayne Walgrave, Rex Hall, Tommy Hooten, Wally Roman, etc. in the field.

So, I am saddened to hear of his passing, but am glad to hear the testimony of those who worked with him and told of some of the amazing things he was able to do.

Master Oil Racing Team
05-31-2007, 08:40 AM
This morning I was going through some of my contact sheets looking for photos to help Ron with his DePue project when I came upon this photo of the Quincy pits. I thought to myself, I know this man to the left of Jim Schoch, but I can't remember his name.

Then I was in the shower and while I was thinking about the picture, it suddenly hit me. I remembered Jack with Quincy, but I never knew his last name. The guy in the photo was at all the big races, and I thought, could this be Jack McGrury. I couldn't tell by comparing this with the Reunion photo, but it sure looks like it could be. So tell me....is this Jack McGrury standing next to Jim at the 1972 NOA World Championships in Alex?

Gene East
05-31-2007, 07:46 PM
Sorry Wayne but that is not Jack. I have a gut feeling as to whom it is, but the glasses don't fit with my reccolection of the person I have in mind. Therefore I will only say, No that ain't Jack.

that is not Jack

Master Oil Racing Team
05-31-2007, 08:02 PM
I wasn't sure myself Gene, but I had to ask. I didn't recognize the pic's of Jim Gohery at first that Diane Murray had sent me of Pete Voss's 70th birthday party, but after a hint, I recognized him. The guy in the pic next to jim is very familiar to me from those days though. He was around the pits all the time, but I can't come up with a name. I will say though that since he has his feet wet...he is a racer!

05-31-2007, 08:28 PM
I would like to thank everyone for all the nice things they said about my dad and for the stories about my dad that i've never heard. Also thanks for your thoughts and prayers in our time of sadness


06-02-2007, 10:08 AM
I would like to thank everyone for all the wonderful things you have said about Jack. He was a good friend to a lot of you,s. He talked often about boat raing, he loved it. Gene & Artic you all came to see him, and what you did for his birthday will never be forgotten. To many to name, but I and the family thank you from the bottom of our hearts. He will be missed everyday.

Mrs. Jack (Sandy)