John F. Moran

Sep 10, 2019
John Moran

Union — John F. "Jack" Moran, 87, died peacefully where he loved to be, center stage -- surrounded by his children, grandchildren and holding his sweetheart’s hand -- following a brief, unexpected illness Aug. 12, 2019.

Jack was a country singer/songwriter, best known for his Grammy nominated song “Skip a Rope,” performed by Henson Cargill and written with Glenn Tubb. In 1968, “Skip a Rope” spent five weeks on the top of the Country Billboard charts, and even crossed over to number 25 in the Hot 100. This socially controversial, colossal hit went on to eventually be covered by nearly 100 artists, including Conway Twitty and George Jones. In 1970, Jack released his own album, "As I See It," that was remastered and re-released in 2016.

A native of Scranton, Pa., Jack was born Feb. 26, 1932, the son of Frank and Gwen Moran. Jack sustained a serious eye injury at birth and lost his sight completely by 14. Despite his handicap, Jack excelled at school, even pioneering a program in the local public school for low-vision students. Jack was a member of the National Honor Society, editor of his high school yearbook, and valedictorian of his 1950 Scranton Tech High School class.

Jack graduated with honors from Penn State University, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1956 and a master's in counseling in 1961. He was a member of the Men’s Glee Club, ATO, and Phi Beta Kappa, but he was perhaps most notable for walking the campus led by his faithful seeing-eye dog, Ike. Jack remained an enthusiastic lifelong fan of his alma mater.

Throughout his life, Jack worked in a number of jobs, championing the civil rights of and counseling those with disabilities. Jack was employed by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, New Jersey Commission for the Blind, NCCJ, and Maine DHS. However, his true calling was as a singer/songwriter.

During his musical career, in addition to the much-lauded “Skip a Rope,” Jack had more than 200 songs under contract, with over 30 being recorded by notable performers of the day. Jack continued to write songs throughout his life.

In 1963, Jack married Joyce Torrey and together they had three children -- Allison, John, and Linda. During their childhood, the Morans primarily lived in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. However, they would visit Joyce’s hometown of Union every summer, where they eventually settled in 1983.

Jack’s favorite career began in 1990, when his sweet granddaughter Sarah was born, and “Grampa’s” daycare opened. Jack was an indulgent and loving grandfather, always willing to hold a baby, play on the floor and sneak treats.

As Joyce’s mobility and health declined, Jack became a faithful caregiver. After Joyce’s passing in 2008, Jack became more involved in the many groups that he belonged to -- the Lion’s Club, AA and the unofficial “Old Man’s Breakfast Club.”

In 2014, after a 60-year separation, Jack reconnected with his former Scranton neighbor and first love -- Joan Davis. Jack’s last years spent devotedly with Joan were arguably the happiest of his life.

Jack had a sharp intellect, a big heart and copious charm, which he shared generously with everyone. Whether they called him Jack, Old, Grampa, or Old Grampa, everyone is sure to miss him and his beautiful, rich, unforgettable voice.

Jack was predeceased by his parents, Francis and Gwen Moran, his sister Gloria Jordan, and wife Joyce Moran.

From a previous marriage, Jack was also predeceased by his son David Moran and two grandsons, and is survived by his daughter Susan Weiss and her husband, Kevin Weiss, of Severna Park, Md.; Chris Moran of Atlanta; and eight grandchildren.

Jack is also survived by his beloved Joan; his daughter Allison Davis and her husband, Mark, of Hope; his son John Moran and his wife, Sarah, of Dalian, China; his daughter Linda and her husband, Dieter Weber, of Hope; his beloved grandchildren, Sarah Schneider and husband Mike, Leah Davis, Gwenyvere Sewall, Fiona Sewall, Shea Sewall, Henry Moran, Emily Moran and Nolan Moran; his “PA family,” Becky Davis, Anne Godfrey-Wilson; and many other cherished family and friends.

A more complete obituary can be found at bchfh.com.

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