John M. "Jack" Dempsey III

Dempsey WebsiteJohn M. "Jack" Dempsey III, 78, passed away on May 21, 2024, in Portland, Maine. Born December 12, 1945, in Greenwich, Connecticut, to John M. Dempsey II and the late Patricia Madden, he was the eldest of four children, the older brother to three sisters. Growing up in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, he loved playing lacrosse, baseball, and excelled in swimming, serving as team captain when his team won the state championship. Fittingly, his first job would be as a lifeguard in Mountain Lakes. As a young man, Jack was very active in the Boy Scouts and loved spending time at the Ten Mile River Scouts Camp in Narrowsburg, New York, eventually becoming a Life Scout.

At the age of 13, Jack was lovingly tricked into his first trip to Maine, which decades later would become his home. Jack, who hated to be apart from his mother, would never have agreed to spend the summer away at camp, so to get him there, his mother and uncle conspired, promising Jack that if he tagged along on a business trip, he'd get a chance to drive his uncle's new Buick on the way up to Maine. Eventually, his uncle brought him to Birch Rock Camp in Waterford, and after showing him around the cabins and the lake, Jack was ready to stay.

The first summer he attended was a pivotal moment in his life. He would return each summer as a camper, then a counselor, and even after going off to Tusculum College in Tennessee, he would still return to Birch Rock to help set up for the summer and put the boats in the water. The camp further fostered his deep connection to the outdoors, and Jack's name can still be seen carved on a plaque in the dining hall for his record swim of Lake McWain in 59:40. Throughout Jack's life, he would continue to embody the values and mission of Birch Rock Camp, taking the motto "Help the Other Fellow" to heart.

After college Jack began working as a clerk on Wall Street and at a young age became a member of the New York Stock Exchange on March 2, 1972. As a Specialist, Jack was a role model and mentor to many. The memories he made and the deep friendships he forged meant the world to him. During his time at the NYSE, Jack earned a reputation for his utmost integrity, living by the phrase Dictum Meum Pactum "My word is my bond". Generosity was another characteristic he was known for, having helped create several foundations and serving on various boards supporting numerous philanthropic endeavors, including the Members Handicapped Children's Fund, Cancer Research Fund and Boy Scouts of America.

Outside of work, Jack was a member of Campfire Club of America, he took flying lessons, and he cherished the memories of fishing, golfing, and hunting all over the world with friends he adored. Skiing was another of Jack's passions, which he discovered on winter breaks during college, learning alongside his mother, a detail he always loved to share. He joined the ski patrol in Mountain Lakes, NJ and Windham, NY, and was a member of the New York Stock Exchange Interbourse ski team "Rent-A-Group", competing in Chamonix, St. Mortiz, and Val-d'Isere.

After a distinguished, decades-long career, Jack finally rang the bell and retired from the NYSE on October 18, 2001, and moved to Maine permanently. There, he joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 2-1, Saco Bay, serving for 16 years. He served in several different capacities as both flotilla commander and division commander, as well as providing education, training and private vessel safety examinations, an area in which he took particular interest. In 2013, he was appointed District Captain North, covering the entire state of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. He patrolled the Maine coast as a boat crew coxswain, work he found incredibly fulfilling.

Jack was known for his breadth of knowledge, earning him a reputation among his friends as the "smartest guy in the room," especially pertaining to his knowledge and love of wine. His interests extended to a love of cigars, wooden boats, antique cars and the NY Yankees. He never missed "Jeopardy" (so don't call weekdays between 7:30 and 8). Jack enjoyed chopping wood, playing bocce, and was an avid reader.

Helping others was a consistent theme throughout his life. Jack will be remembered for his remarkable patience, integrity, and friendship.

If you find yourself enjoying a great cigar, having exceptional wine, a fresh peach margarita, playing a game of backgammon or softball, working on the Times crossword, at peace out on the water, content in a quiet wood, or enjoying an evening fire, think of Jack and he will be there.

Jack is survived by many friends and family who loved and respected him, as well as his two closest companions: his adored English setters Sadie and Pete.

Details for a memorial service on July 5th in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, will be forthcoming.

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