Robert “Jack” Dempsey, 78, of Vero Beach FL died peacefully on June 19, 2021 at home, with his wife Linda by his side. He was born August 13, 1942 in Springfield Massachusetts to Albert and Phyllis (Pemberton) Dempsey. Jack grew up in Woronoco and Turners Falls Massachusetts, graduating from Turners Falls High School in 1960. He attended Cushing Academy, Norwich University, then enlisted in the US Army in 1962. He was stationed in South Carolina, Texas, and Maryland also serving in Vietnam as an optical laboratory specialist. When he returned from Vietnam he worked at the Pentagon until the time of his honorable discharge from the army in 1970 with the rank of Staff Sargent.
Jack worked as an optician with Schaff’s in Greenfield Mass and Brattleboro Vermont. He then started his own business as RE Dempsey Opticians in November of 1973 on Elliott Street and later on Western Ave in Brattleboro and together with Linda, they ran their business for 25 years.
Jack also worked part time as a deputy sheriff with the Windham County Sheriff’s Department. He loved to hunt, fish, and go camping where his skills as a “chef” were exhibited with his hearty breakfasts cooked on a camp stove, much to the delight of his family. While there he played softball in the Brattleboro Men’s league, was a race official for the US Snowmobiling Association, a member of the VFW Honor Guard, and past president of the Brattleboro Kiwanis Club and the Winter Carnival.
Jack and Linda moved to Gastonia, North Carolina in 1998 where he worked as an optician with JC Penney and Walmart before retiring. He was a member of the Gaston County Honor Guard.
In 2016 Jack and Linda moved farther south to Vero Beach, Florida where he enjoyed his retirement taking care of his lawn, watching the resident hawks, and other Florida wildlife around his home as well as fishing and volunteering for the Environmental Learning Center.
Jack was known to pass his time over the last few years by scrolling through Facebook and catching up with his “friends”. He took the time to write personal birthday wishes to as well as kind words to people when he could see they were struggling. Jack had a keen sense of humor and was proud of his Irish heritage. He had an extreme love for his Golden Retrievers which were a huge part of his family over the years including Jeffrey, Murphy, Brady, and most recently Rudy
He is survived by his wife of 39 years Linda (Marlow); his children, Pam Kostanski and husband Jay of Vero Beach FL., John with his wife Tina of Montague MA; his grandson, Joshua with his wife Skyla; his granddaughter, Tarrah of Turners Falls, MA; his sister Cynthia Orr; his brothers in law Alan Marlow (Cheryl) of Weston, MA and Ron Marlow (Kathy) of Orlando, FL; his sisters in law, Sandra Fitzgerald of Plainville MA and Sharon Gibbons (Bob) of Mansfield MA. As well as several nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at noon on Tuesday June 29, 2021 at Aycock Funeral Home 6026 US Highway 1 Fort Pierce FL. Visitation hour will be from 11 am to noon. Burial will be at the convenience of the family at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Fort Pierce FL.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made in Jack’s name to Wounded Warrior Project or to the St Jude's Children’s Research Hospital.
For condolences, please visit wwww.kostanskifuneralhome.com.