DANVILLE – Jack Loren Delzell, 53, of Danville passed away unexpectedly in his sleep Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
Jack was born Feb. 17, 1959, in Glendale, Calif., a few minutes after his twin brother, Jim, to Robert and Esther Delzell. The Delzell family later moved to Danville, where Jack attended Roselawn, North Ridge and Danville High School.
Jack graduated with honors from Danville High School in 1977, where he, along with his brother, Jim, were standout athletes. Jack was a member of the 1976 DHS football team that finished 2nd in the 4A IHSA state championship game. Jack also ran track at DHS, and was named to the All-Conference team. He attended the ISHA State Track meet in 1975, and he holds a DHS record as a member of the Indoor 4 Lap Relay.
He played baseball for Danville Area Community College, where he was named to the Central Illinois Athletic Conference's All Conference team as the designated hitter. He led the DACC baseball team in four offensive categories and tied for the club leadership in a fifth. He paced the Jaguars with 60 at-bats, 29 hits, 7 doubles and a 484 batting average, and tied with 3 triples. The highlight of his collegiate baseball career was being named to the Illinois Junior College All Star Game in 1980, where he played a double-header game with the South squad at Wrigley Field. Jack turned down additional scholarship offers in athletics to concentrate on his college degree. Jack graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education.
Jack helped coach his son Jonathon's baseball teams and enjoyed attending both of his children's many activities. Jack had a passion for helping people with disabilities and recently worked at the Center for Children's Services. Jack was a cancer survivor and inspired others who were also battling cancer. Jack was an avid sports fan and would always be seen wearing his Illini, Cubs, Bears and Danville Vikings attire.
He loved animals, especially dogs. He had the gift of being a trivia expert and was quite the storyteller. He loved music and always quizzed his children when listening to the radio, by asking, "Who is singing this song?"
Jack was preceded in death by his parents; infant sister, Susan; twin brother, Jim Delzell; step-brother, Larry Collins; and step-mother, Sandra Delzell.
Survivors include his two children, Carly Delzell (fiance James Fleming) and Jonathon Delzell; their mother, Kathy Delzell; granddaughter, Olivia Edington; and step-grandson, Braeden Fleming; girlfriend, Shelley Young and her two children, Taylor and Brett; two brothers, Carey Delzell (Vivian) of Glendale, Calif., and their children, Jeff and Laura, Dr. Robert Delzell II (Tracy) of Pearland, Texas, and their daughter, Sabrina; sister-in-law, Karen Delzell of Tujunga, Calif., and her children, Layton, Cassidy (Manny Becerra), Tyler and Genna. Also surviving are step-sister Susan Koullen and family; step-brother David Collins and family; and several sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a host of very close friends.
A service to commemorate his life will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at First Presbyterian Church, 100 N. Franklin St., Danville, with the Rev. Dr. Jimmy Hopper officiating. Following the service Jack will be laid to rest at Springhill Cemetery. A visitation for family and friends will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. today (Thursday, Dec. 6) at Pape Memorial Home, 10 E. Williams, Danville. There will also be visiting hours before the service at the church from 9 to 10 a.m. on Dec. 7. Memorials may be made to Special Olympics, the American Heart Association, or the American Cancer Society.