John "Jack" Lawrence Albert
John "Jack" Lawrence Albert was born on March, 1, 1924, in Chicago, Ill., to Arthur "A. L." Albert and Mazie (Campbell) Albert. He grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and attended Arthur Elementary and Franklin Jr. High School. He then attended Western Military Academy in Alton, Ill., and the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the Beta Theta Phi fraternity. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943 and transferred to the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. At the close of the war, Jack was stationed in Japan, facilitating injured U.S. POWs returning to the states for medical care. After leaving the Army, Jack returned home to Cedar Rapids to work at the family business.
On Sept. 21, 1950, he was united in marriage to Elizabeth "Betty" (Blaul) Albert. The couple became second-generation owners/operators of Albert's Cleaners and Prince Albert Formal Wear in 1956. Before, during and after transitioning the family business to his son, Jack dabbled in the ownership of a variety of other businesses in Cedar Rapids. He quite honestly could be the creator of the phrase "Jack of all trades." Jack was the owner of the Richard Bennet franchise, which sold tailored men's clothing; the Bosch boat franchise; and he owned the franchise rights for the Dairy Queen in Europe. He owned car washes; Street Treats, a multi-state mobile ice cream business; and was the first foreign car dealer in Iowa. It is no secret that Jack loved cars, boats and airplanes. He enjoyed talking about them in detail with everyone he met. Throughout his life, Jack prided himself in owning high-end cars and often flew to Italy to pick up his cars directly from the factory.
Some of Jack's other enjoyments in life included entertaining the U.S.A.F. Thunderbird Flight Team at his home in Cedar Rapids, and serving on the airport commissions in Cedar Rapids and Marshall. As a boy, Jack was introduced to golf as a caddy for members of the Cedar Rapids Country Club. He became an avid golfer, claiming the title of club champion one year, and played until he reached the young age of 92. Jack was also a worldwide traveler who enjoyed a good excursion. He traveled all over the world, lived large, and never was short on stories to share from his many adventures. Give a listening ear, and you were Jack's forever friend.
In 1977, the couple moved to La Crosse, Wis., where they owned/operated Boulevard Cleaners until they retired and moved to Horseshoe Bay, Texas, in 1987. In 2002, they moved to Marshall to be closer to family, because of Betty's health. For the past few years, Jack had lived at Hill Street Place and loved spending time with others there. Jack died Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the Avera Morningside Heights Transition Unit where he was recovering from pneumonia.
Jack is survived by his children, Deborah Albert of Dubuque, Iowa, John (and Janet) Albert Jr. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Susan Strautz of Marshall, Minn.; grandchildren, Christopher (and Andrea) Strautz of Moorhead, Minn., Nicholas (and Anne) Strautz of Shakopee, Minn., Laura Skovlund (and Zach) of Fargo, John Albert and Lauren Albert of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and great-grandchildren Brennan Strautz, Cailin Strautz, Rosalie Strautz and Hadley Skovlund. He also is survived by 14 nieces and nephews; and special family friends, Virginia Busch and Tom Sawchak.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, A.L. and Mazie Albert; wife, Elizabeth, brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Neva Alber; and son-in-law, Steve Strautz.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt appreciation for the excellent care Jack received through Wild Rose/Touching Hearts, especially Wendy and Rue.
The funeral service for John "Jack" Albert, 94, of Marshall, will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at Rehkamp Horvath Funeral Home in Marshall. Visitation will be one hour prior to service at the funeral home. A private family interment will take place at a later date. Military honors provided by U.S. American Legion Post 113 of Marshall.
In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Prairie Home Hospice or the Tracy Area Animal Rescue (Jack loved his dogs).