John E. Cosgrove Jr, (Jack) age 85, of Sharon, Massachusetts passed away on Friday, March 27, 2020 at Wingate of Norton. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 8, 1934, he was the son of the late John and Margaret M. (Maguire) Cosgrove. He was raised in Norton MA and graduated from Norton High School with the Class of 1952. Following his graduation, Jack enlisted in the United States Army during the Korean War.
While on active duty in the Army, Jack married his beloved wife Anne L. O'Leary in 1955 at Fort Dix, New Jersey. After serving in the Army for two years, they settled in Hyde Park. The couple eventually moved to Sharon where they raised their family. For sixty-five years their home became the staging point of multiple events related to athletics. As a couple they impacted not only their own children, and their many nieces and nephews, but hundreds of young people throughout the town. Jack loved and adored his wife Anne and together, they impacted the community of Sharon in a way that will never be forgotten.
Jack was employed by Whiting Milk Company where he began work at 5:00 AM and was home every day when the neighborhood kids got home from school at 3:00 PM. In 1963 and 64 he began recruiting neighborhood kids and bringing them together on Little’s Farm, behind his home on Winslow Rd. With the permission of the Little Family, he built a combination baseball and football field, with wooden goal posts. Anyone in Sharon who wanted to play football was welcome to come and play. As the program prospered, they moved to Ames Street Playground where the Sharon Red Devil Pop Warner team was eventually formed in 1967. In 1968 the Red Devils won the A team Hockomock Pop Warner Championship against perennial power Norwood. They followed that up in 1969 with a second championship against another perennial power, Walpole. The Red Devils great success eventually led to the start of High School Football in Sharon in 1970.
Jack did not limit his passion for sports and the impact it had on young people to just football. When the season changed, so did the sport. A Boston Park League veteran, he presided over and coached Little League Baseball in Sharon. That eventually led to him coaching at the high school level. Throughout the spring and summer travel experiences, he led multiple teams to great success. After football season, he somehow found the time to coach both basketball and hockey during the winter months. Inspired by the rise of the Boston Bruins in the late 60’s, those neighborhood kids took to pond hockey. That eventually led to more structured teams as hockey rinks sprouted up throughout the state. Jack was once again the driving force in starting another youth program in Sharon, hockey.
Jack’s year-round passion for coaching eventually led to a career change. Athletics became his calling and he worked at both Thayer Academy in Braintree and for the Sharon Recreation Department as the Athletic Director. Through these year-round experiences, he was able to impact hundreds of young men and women through their pursuit of excellence in sports. Jack influenced and inspired a great number of these talented student athletes who went on to very successful college careers and lifelong achievements. Jack was very fortunate to have many volunteers throughout the years that were instrumental in helping him achieve his success.
In 2018 the original Sharon High School Football Field was named in honor of Jack for his dedication to the sport of football and the young men and women that he coached and mentored in Sharon for six decades. The plaque at the field says it all about Jack; “In honor of our Coach, Teacher and Friend. An Educator who tells it like it is!” Jack saw and brought out the best in those who came under his tutelage. In addition, a scholarship was created in his name to be awarded annually to an outstanding senior male and female college bound student-athlete who are high achievers and active participants in service activities in the community of Sharon.
Scholarships have been awarded for the past two years and the plans are to continue this for years to come.
Beloved husband of Anne L. (O’Leary) Cosgrove.
Loving father of John W. Cosgrove and his wife, Marilyn, of Bangor, Maine, Michael E. Cosgrove and his wife, Kathy, of South Easton, Jill A. Cosgrove of Sharon, Ellen T. Cosgrove Cuneo and her husband, James, of Norton, Jeffrey T. Cosgrove and his partner, Wayne Pina, of Brockton, and the late Kristen M. Cosgrove.
Cherished grandfather of Jeri, Matthew, Carly, Sydni, Jenna, Lissa, Nicole, Sean, Jamie, Lindsey, James, and Jack and great grandfather of Rylan, Braiden, and Carter.
As a result of the ongoing and ever-developing health crisis in the world and our community and with genuine concern for the people whom they love, Jack's family will gather privately for his funeral services and burial at Rock Ridge Cemetery in Sharon. A Celebration of Life and Memorial Mass will be held when we return to calmer and healthier times so that we may gather without boundaries to honor, remember and celebrate his life. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Jack Cosgrove Scholarship Fund c/o Michael Cosgrove, 57 Peterson Road. South Easton MA 02375.
Arrangements by James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, Walpole.