One of Sacramento’s most respected and beloved Labor leaders, Jack L. Loveall, passed away last month after a years-long battle with cancer.
Lovell, president emeritus of UFCW 588, led a storied life as both a union man and a family man. Please see p. 3 for a full obituary, written by his family.
Jack L. Loveall was laid to rest during a private family service in Sacramento, Calif. on Feb. 29, 2020—his 21st leap-year birthday—after a courageous three-year battle with cancer.
He was 84 years old from Detroit, Mich., born on Leap Day, Feb. 29, 1936.
Jack was a self-made Renaissance man and the embodiment of the American Dream. He was deeply respected by his colleagues and adversaries alike. Affectionately referred to as “Captain Jack,” he was married to his first mate, Patricia, whom he adored for 67 years. He was the father of seven, a grandfather, a great-grandfather and a beloved mentor and teacher to countless others.
He began his career in the retail grocery industry at the age of 13, when he worked as a part-time clerk for Wrigley Markets in Detroit.
He joined the Retail Clerks Association in 1953 and became a Union Representative for Local 876 five years later. After a series of Union mergers, the Clerks became and remain the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).
Jack soon became the local’s Organizing Director and President of the Michigan States Council. In 1965, Loveall went to work for the International Union, where he was appointed Executive Assistant to the Director of Organizing and then promoted to Executive Assistant to the International President.
He served as Regional Director of the Metro New York and New England areas, was the trustee of UFCW Local 500 in Montreal, Canada and was the Regional Director of the Southwest Region, which covered California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Hawaii.
Loveall’s ingenuity and dedication to working people helped him climb to the upper echelons of the International Union. He was elected an International Vice President in 1971, a position he held with distinction for more than 30 years, representing working families throughout the United States, Canada, Asia and Europe.
From the earliest days of his career, he displayed a powerful determination, discipline and unique capacity to work endless hours on behalf of “the members we are so privileged to represent,” a phrase he used frequently.
Jack continued his extraordinary record of accomplishments as president of UFCW 588 -Northern California.
He immediately made growth and organizing top priority. His head-spinning success was demonstrated by the explosive growth of UFCW 588’s membership due to his unique personal style, dynamism and innovative leadership. He was known for his iconic negotiating skills, strategic sensibilities and steely nerve.
Jack served with distinction on the board of the California Labor Federation and as president of the Coalition of Organized Labor. He also was chairman of the UFCW Universal Trust Fund, chairman of the Northern California Joint Labor/Management Committee and chairman of the James T. Housewright Scholarship Fund.
Jack’s status as one of America’s most respected labor leaders motivated him to pursue the interests of working people at all levels of government, vigorously and tirelessly fighting for livable wages, quality health care and retirement dignity for all hard-working people.
Jack lived in the spirit of “Solidarity Works,” which he established as the motto of
UFCW 588-Northern California and which continues as the motto of its successor Union, UFCW 8-Golden State.
Nothing was more important to Jack than human interaction. He elevated making meaningful connections with others to an artform.
Jack’s passing prompted an outpouring of messages from near and far to the Loveall family from those who were touched by his life and his work. The consistent theme in these messages is “Jack made life better.”
An insatiable reader throughout his life, Jack had a wide-ranging variety of interests and passions.
He grew up in Loveall’s Garage, his father’s auto shop, in Detroit. It was there his lifelong passion for cars began. Over his lifetime he restored hundreds of American classic automobiles, particularly those from the 1940s and 1950s, winning countless auto shows.
He was an avid golfer with an extraordinary short game. He shot his age or lower every year from the age of 78 for the rest of his life. He seldom lost a wager or missed a long putt, even while battling those “evil little bastards” as he referred to the cancer cells.
Jack had a marvelous sense of humor and loved telling jokes as much as hearing them; he laughed heartily doing both.
Jack enjoyed being on the water with his family on their boat, Desperado. He loved music, movies, food, wine and traveling. He went cliff-jumping in his 50s, earned his pilot’s license in his 60s, drove a Formula race car and taught himself to play the ukulele in his 70s and threw the first pitch in a Major League Baseball game in his 80s.
Jack had a voracious appetite for life, devouring both its challenges and its joys. His approach to all aspects of life is reflected in his mantra: “Success favors the prepared. Plan your work; work your plan.”
Jack and Patricia’s home was also a gathering place for neighborhood children. It is in this spirit the Loveall Foundation for Children was founded to honor them. The Foundation is an all-volunteer charity providing meaningful opportunities for children to overcome challenges, live better lives and reach their full potential. The charity has raised and contributed millions of dollars for this mission since its creation in 1997.
Jack is as alive today as he ever was. His spirit and light are in all who knew and loved him. Together we are a righteous and powerful force for good.
Always remember this: Solidarity Works! Jack sure did.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in Jack’s name be made to the Loveall Foundation for Children.
“The Way of Jack,” a public celebration of Jack L. Loveall’s life, will be held in the Sacramento Calif., region on June 9, 2020.
Go to www.LoveallFoundation.org to make a donation and to learn more details about the celebration of this remarkable man.