TBDBITL Alumni Club

The Best Damn Band In The Land - The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni

John Jacob Haunty

October 30, 1935 - May 15, 2023

The undefinable Jack Haunty, artist, adman, musician, lyricist, writer, gardener, designer, husband, father and beloved Pop-Pop, died suddenly Monday, May 15 from an aneurysm that burst. He was 87.

Jack was born John Jacob Haunty October 30,1935 in Bexley, Ohio to John Follmer and Katherine E (Sammet) Haunty. He attended Bexley schools and was a promising baseball player through high school. He graduated in 1953.

When he graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1957, it was not clear that he would become a Renaissance Man. But he did.

He started as a designer/art director at Nationwide Insurance. In the 1960s, he joined a small agency as Creative Art Director, through four name changes, that small agency grew into one of the largest in the Midwest Fahlgren & Swink, Inc. where he was Executive Vice President and Creative Director.

In 1985, he went off on his own as a creative consultant, which by 1987 was The Haunty Agency. That successful run concluded with a three year pre-retirement stint with Paul Werth Associates as Executive Vice President and creative head.

Through that 60-year career, he won countless Addys for work in television, and innumerable awards for his work in radio and print. His creative stamp appeared on work for dozens of companies including Bank One, Marzetti, The Limited, Battelle, Dow Chemical, O.M. Scott, Donatos and White Castle.

But it wasn't just what he did, it was who he was. When he captained the drum lines in The Ohio State University Marching Band and marched in the Rose Bowl Parade, he had his shoes bronzed. His license read DRMMR 1. He held season football tickets until just last year. Whenever he designed any logo for a company, he would field test it on a golf ball to make sure it translated to every possible use. His logo for The Lakes Golf and Country Club is classic.

His Christmas cards were collectible, treasured prints of his paintings.

He was not a master gardener but he was a master at gardening. Zinnias were not purchased in flats but grown from seed under grow lights and rotated constantly so stems grew strong and true. His vinca were 12 inches apart on center in augered holes.

His artworks were, well, works of art. He had a unique style of impressionism using both brush and painting knife blending theme, content and texture into seamless beauty.

There are those who have seen him hit five consecutive golf balls into the water on 14 at The Lakes in a tournament. He may have lost the hole but went on to win the match.

Jack gave freely of himself to his church, to his friends, to good causes.

His recollection of stats, plays and games of his Buckeyes, the Indians (no Guardians for him), the Reds and the Dallas Cowboys never dimmed. He could cite them (and correct you) at the drop of an errant statistic.

He served in the National Guard and, like so many of his generation, believed in loyalty, patriotism, honor and tradition. Each was a key to who he was.

He had remarkable verbal skills. When he spoke, you never knew if what came out of his mouth would be profoundly affecting or hilariously funny. But it was invariably one or the other. It was just the way his mind worked.

He knew his grandchildren's games and grade averages plus batting averages, tackles for loss, shots on goal and won-loss records. He didn't just know, he cared and that made him Pop-Pop.

When he wrote a love poem for his dear, sweet wife, Kathleen, the lyrics and notes were on sheet music-framed.

He was unique, one of a kind.

He was diagnosed with an inoperable aneurysm in late 2015 but no one would ever have known from any change in how he lived his life or faced the world. He knew whenever the aneurysm burst, it would be hard and fast. It was and he was ready.

Jack is survived by his first wife Peg and their children: Chris Haunty (Jeannette), Beth Haunty Hepler (Tim) and Jill Haunty Ramser; grandchildren Sara Haunty (Bob), Jason Haunty (Kristi), Christopher Haunty and Samantha Haunty; great grandchildren Hazel Reese Haunty and Claire Gabriel McDevitt; nephews Jake Haunty (Jen), James Haunty (Molly) and niece Kate Haunty Jackson (Grant). Also surviving are his family with Kathleen: Mark L. Risley III (Nan) and Marlene Risley Barrett (Andrew) and grandchildren Mark L. Risley IV, Eileen Barrett, Andrew Barrett Jr. and Matthew Barrett.

He is predeceased by his parents, his brother James Haunty, and son-in-law Jeff Ramser.

Services will be conducted by Rev. Dr. Julia Wharf Piermont on Monday, June 19 at 11 a.m. at Worthington Presbyterian Church, 773 High Street, Worthington, Ohio 43085. A reception and luncheon will be held in the Fellowship Hall immediately after the ceremony.

Rutherford Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, PO Box 5014 Hagerstown, MD 21741.

Jack was a member of the marching band from 1954 through 1956. He played snare drum in L-Row.