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Jack Schurman--Veterans Leader

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 21, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SHIMKUS. Madam Speaker, I rise today to remember a great friend of mine and a tremendous advocate for America's veterans, Mr. Jack Edward Schurman. A little more than two years ago, I spoke about Jack as he moved from his longtime residence of Shelbyville, IL, in my 15th Congressional District, to the Mississippi State Veterans Home to be near his daughter, Kelli Ann, in Bay St. Louis, MS. On September 13, Jack passed way, a victim of the ongoing, tragic COVID-19 pandemic.

Born in Iowa on June 12, 1939, Jack joined the U.S. Navy in 1959. He rose to the rank of yeoman third class before a disability cut short his service in 1964. Jack made his way to Illinois. In 1976, he married Nancy Ellen Cranford. They raised two daughters, Kelli Ann and Kim Marie.

As chairman of my Veterans Advisory Committee, Jack used his valuable experience and perspective as a disabled veteran in leading our meetings through the years. Between meetings, he would direct a number of veterans to my office for casework assistance, several of whom he had to use his well-known persistence to convince they could trust a government representative.

Jack's health declined after the death of his beloved Nancy in 2016, leading to his move to Mississippi. But even after leaving the state, he continued advocating for his fellow veterans in Illinois, staying in contact with my office from long distance.

Madam Speaker, Jack Edward Schurman was laid to rest next to Nancy at Mt. Zion Cemetery near Shelbyville. After fighting the good fight, may he rest in peace.

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