John Stephen Delaney, 83, of Philadelphia and Ventnor, N.J., died Wednesday, Nov. 27, at Atlantic City Medical Center of injuries from an auto accident Nov. 4 in Atlantic City.
Mr. Delaney was born in Philadelphia, and attended Roman Catholic High School. At age 17, he enlisted in the Army and served with the 101st Airborne Division in the Korean War. He was honorably discharged with the rank of staff sergeant.
He received a Purple Heart for valor.
After returning home, Mr. Delaney embarked on a 50-year career with ITE Circuit Breaker Co. in Philadelphia, starting with an assembly-line job. He was elected shop steward for employees represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) and rose to shop chairman and finally president of UAW Local 1612 before retiring in 2002.
"Jack was a mentor, counselor, and friend to many young union members who, with his help and guidance, went on to achieve great things," his family said in a statement.
Mr. Delaney was active in the Moose Lodge as well as the Philadelphia Irish Society, receiving the latter's Man of the Year award in 2007.
He enjoyed boating, the casinos, pinochle, gardening, dancing, following the Eagles, and spending time with his family and friends.
"Jack was a man of honor, respect, someone to trust, and a friend for life. We will miss his laugh, his happy-go-lucky attitude, and his infectious smile that lit up the room," his family said.
Surviving are his wife of 56 years, the former Joan Stenz; sons Edward, Patrick and Keith; daughter Kim; 14 grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. A son, John S. Jr., died earlier.
A viewing will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Dinan Funeral Home, 1923 Spring Garden St., followed by a 1:30 p.m. Funeral Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Interment will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon.