Longtime Wilton Schools employee John (Jack) Droney of Darien died peacefully on Saturday, Sept. 28. Jack was born April 29, 1925 to John and Kate (Howley) Droney in Bellharbour, County Clare, Ireland. He was the youngest of four children: Mary (Sisty Scarsbrook), Michael, Martin, and Jack.
Jack immigrated to the United Ståtes in 1947 with his cousin and lifelong friend, James (Gus) Droney. He arrived in New York but soon ventured to Stamford to work as a carpenter/handyman for his uncle, Tom Howard, while attending night school at Wright Tech to hone his carpentry and maintenance talents. His problem-solving abilities, work ethic and trade skills provided him with numerous job opportunities; his quick wit, integrity and Irish charm quickly endeared him to those he worked for and those who were lucky enough to cross his path.
While in Stamford, Jack met Mary (McHugh) and quickly realized that Mary ("May") was the gal for him. The romance, however, was put on hold; the Korean War was underway, and his new home country drafted him into service in 1950. He served two years of active duty in Germany in the Military Police before returning stateside, where he proudly became a United States citizen. He served his new country for an additional four years in the reserves. Jack and May were married in 1953; they were married for 63 years at the time of May’s death in May 2016.
Jack was employed by Hewitt Robbins in Glenbrook for 18 years where he was responsible for the overall maintenance and upkeep of the building and its beautiful surrounding property as well as transportation and assistance to the executives of the company. In 1970, when Hewitt Robbins relocated to New Jersey, Jack took a new position as Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds for the Wilton school system.
Through his 26 years of service with Wilton, Jack received numerous awards and countless recognition from the Town of Wilton, General Electric, CL&P and the State of Connecticut for his energy management and conservation initiatives. He retired from Wilton in 1996, to only again be called into service by Wilton as “Clerk of the Works” for the town’s planned renovation/additions to five schools and turf fields. He served in that capacity until 2002.
Jack is survived by his three children and their spouses. Daughter Maeve with her husband Tom Cossuto have three children, Tom, Danny and Rose. Daughter Susan along with her husband Bill Shannon have two children, William and Kate. Son Kieran and his wife Lisa (Martinelli) have three children, Austin, Taylor and Kasey. Jack enjoyed a special relationship with each of his eight grandchildren and he will be sorely missed by all of them.
Jack was blessed with the love and friendship of countless persons who enriched his and May’s lives. He remained fiercely proud of his Irish heritage, but his love for the United States and the opportunities it afforded him was a privilege that he appreciated and embraced throughout his life.
In addition to his children and grandchildren, Jack is survived by his sister Mary, countless loving Droney and McHugh cousins, nieces, nephews and his sister-in-law Minnie McHugh.
Calling hours will be held from from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the Thomas M. Gallagher Funeral Home located at 453 Shippan Ave, in Stamford.
A Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate Jack’s life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct, 3 at St. Thomas More Church at 374 Middlesex Rd. in Darien. Interment to follow at Spring Grove Cemetery also in Darien. To send online condolences to the family, please visit Thomas M. Gallagher Funeral Home.
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