John “Jack” Cameron Jr. started his life on Dec. 9, 1944 as the son of John and Zoe Cameron. He passed away on Aug. 19, 2017 at the Matthew House in Auburn after a courageous battle with cancer.
When you were lucky enough to get a baker’s dozen, it meant getting 13 not 12. It was that little extra, unexpected delight that put a smile on your face and that was the kind of life that Jack Cameron shared with us. There was always something bubbling up in Jack, whether it be a new idea, of which he had thousands, or his desire to explore and look at life as a wonderful adventure to be lived to its fullest each day. He lived his life to the fullest and encouraged each of us to do the same. His jokes and tricks were notorious. He made you laugh, he made you smile, he helped you see the good that was within you, and he gave you hope when you felt you had none. He simply was a people person.
Jack started in the food industry working in local restaurants such as Auburn Country Club, and Springside Inn. He worked as a baker and pastry chef in his family’s business, Cameron’s Bakery.
After the business was sold, his career took many turns. Jack became the National Seminar Coordinator for National Restaurant Association in Chicago where he traveled around the 50 states conducting seminars. His teaching profession started at Cayuga Onondaga BOCES where he taught special needs students. He also taught at the Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University before teaching at Sullivan County Community College (SCCC). While at SCCC, Jack taught hotel and food service programs at the college and in the college’s Correctional Facilities Program. He served as President of Professional Staff union and Middle Atlantic Fisheries Chef Coordinator. He also earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Vocational Education at the State University of New York at Oswego.
At SCCC, he especially enjoyed being the Coordinator for International Student Development Program for many years where Jack served as tour guide to students traveling to Europe. Traveling and meeting people throughout the United States and Europe was one of his passions. You would hear him ask strangers “Where are you from?” so he could hear their life stories. He visited England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Holland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Greece. Jack and his wife, Patty, made their dream trip together to Ireland and England in 2014.
Jack was an active member in the Conservative Party. Being a proud Scot, he was also active in the Scottish games. He spent all year planning his Cameron clan tent display at the Long Branch Scottish games in Syracuse. Jack greeted each person at the games with a smile and always asked them to make a Scottish wish. Family was important to Jack. He still designed and decorated cakes for special family affairs. His most favorite past time was spending time with his grandchildren, Kamryn and Khloe, and grandnieces and grandnephew, Aliza, Cal and Zoey.
Jack is survived by his wife of 48 years, Patricia; his mother, Zoe B. Cameron; his two brothers, Robert and David (Lisa) Cameron; father-in-law, John Dugan; brothers-in-law, John and Jeff (Gina) Dugan; aunt, Dorothea Mazzeo; daughter, Kristy (John) Bletch; grandchildren; several nieces, nephews, cousins, grand-nieces, and grand-nephew.
Jack remained positive throughout his illness and was looking forward to once again being united with his son, John “Woody” Cameron, and his father, John Cameron.
Thank you to David and Lisa Cameron, and his “niece practitioner,” Natalie McCormick for all their love and support. Thank you to all his friends and family that visited him during his illness. Thank you to The Commons on St. Anthony for their wonderful rehab care. Special thank you to the Matthew House for their exceptional loving end-of-life care in his last month of his illness.
Friends and family are invited to a Ceilidh, Scottish celebration of Jack’s life at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, at Sunset Restaurant, 93 N. Division St., Auburn, N.Y.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in his name be made to Matthew House, 43 Metcalf Drive, Auburn, NY 13021. www.matthewhouse.org
Our trip through this life passes quickly for all of us and if you were one of the lucky ones who had the privilege of having Jack cross your path, then you know that your trip just experienced that little unexpected delight that was Jack. You got the baker’s dozen. Thanks Jack for making birthdays, anniversaries, and life that much sweeter.