World War II prisoner of war camp - Stalag Luft I


World War II - Prisoners of War - Stalag Luft I 

A collection of stories, photos, art and information on Stalag Luft I


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Jack E. Schimpf

Stalag Luft I POW

Active senior didn’t get old

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Around the Arlington Heights Senior Center, Jack E. Schimpf wore many hats. From board member and active fundraiser, to greeter, ambassador and volunteer, he did it all.

That’s why officials are struggling to envision a future without him. They learned last week that Mr. Schimpf had died. Immediately they began to think of ways to memorialize his service.

Mr. Schimpf died Thursday (March 1, 2007). The 47-year Arlington Heights resident was 84.

“He was very active here and just beloved,” said Karen Hanson, the Senior Center’s director.

Officially, Mr. Schimpf was a sitting member of the Senior Center’s fundraising arm, called the Arlington Heights Senior Center Inc., as well as the village of Arlington Heights’ Senior Citizen Commission.

Unofficially, center officials pointed to Mr. Schimpf’s imprint on nearly every aspect of the bustling center that draws up to 600 people a day.

More than 10 years ago, he served on its design commission when the village began the planning stages to move the center to its current location in 1998.

“Jack made sure that the basic infrastructure was in place for future needs,” Hanson said. “Like the woodworking shop, he wanted to make sure it was in place for when we had the funds to open it.”

As a fundraiser, Mr. Schimpf actively worked to organize the center’s sale of holiday wreaths, its golf outing and, more recently, its pancake breakfast, which he had patterned after a successful one run by the Fraternal Order of Police.

“He must have sold more than 100 tickets to ours, every year,” said Larry Nowak, a retired Arlington Heights police officer. “He just enjoyed getting people together.”

Funds raised for the senior center helped provide a variety of enhancements, from new television sets and kitchen equipment to more wheelchairs for the lending closet.

Senior Center officials acknowledged Mr. Schimpf's efforts in 2001, when they nominated him for an Arlington Heights Heart of Gold award, which he won in the Adult Volunteer category.

In 1995, Mr. Schimpf was the Volunteer of the Year of the Suburban Area on Aging.

Mr. Schimpf grew up in Freeport, and met his wife, of 60 years, Miriam, at Freeport High School.

During World War II, he was a bombardier with the Army Air Corps when he was shot down over Germany. He ultimately spent nine months as a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft I in Barth, Germany, on the Baltic Sea.

In his business career, he served as a buyer and manager with Marshall Field & Co. before becoming a sales representative for Chatham Manufacturing, based in North Carolina.

Besides his wife, Mr. Schimpf is survived by his son, David, and daughter, Christine (Jeff) McAllister, as well as four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned for Mr. Schimpf at 1 p.m. March 17 at First United Methodist Church, 1903 E. Euclid Ave. in Arlington Heights.


This site created and maintained by Mary Smith and Barbara Freer, daughters of Dick Williams, Jr.