Jack Ecker, who will turn 90 in August, is a public servant at heart and has spent much of his life involved in government.“I’m an observer now. I don’t get involved anymore,” Mr. Ecker said from his East Hampton home this week, adding that he watches many of the televised town regulatory board meetings, including the Planning Board, of which he was a member and chairman back in the 1960s, and still likes to keep abreast of town issues and events. He also served as a town justice of the peace and was once on the Town Board.
“At that time, you could be a justice of the peace and still be on the Town Board,” he said.
A member of the local Lions Club for more than 50 years, Mr. Ecker was honored last week for his decades of service to the organization and to the East Hampton community. He said he was overwhelmed when he was presented a proclamation by the town’s current supervisor, Larry Cantwell, at the Harbor Grill on Thursday, April 9.
Mr. Ecker, a World War II veteran and member of East Hampton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 550, started John Ecker Insurance Agency in Montauk 50 years ago and became proactive in the Independent Insurance Agents Association of New York’s legislative committee.
“I have always been involved in some way in government. I have always been interested in government,” he said.
“He’s sharp as a tack. He knows a lot of stuff,” said his nephew Eddie Ecker, East Hampton Town’s former police chief. “We’ve had a very close relationship our whole lives. He was always there for all of us. He was a real solid guy.”
East Hampton Lions Club President Bob Schaeffer agreed, saying that Mr. Ecker hasn’t missed a step. “He’s an amazing person. His mind is sharper than anyone we’ve ever known,” said Mr. Schaeffer, who currently serves on the Planning Board. “He will call me the day after a Planning Board meeting and tell me what I’ve done right and what I’ve done wrong,” he laughed. “His mind and his hand are very much involved.”
Mr. Ecker insists that although he still watches what’s going on in local government, he now takes pleasure in other activities.
“I read a lot of newspapers. I have my family and my wife,” he said. “The days go by. All of a sudden, it’s morning, and then it’s evening again.”