John W. Race, or Jack as everyone called him, was born in Denver November 5, 1924. In 1939 his family moved to a farm near Parker where Jack's father created a dairy farm, which he operated until his retirement in 1975. The farm included historic property, known as the 17 Mile House that had been a rest house at a stage stop on Cherokee/Smoky Hill Trail. The house and barn have been restored by the Colorado Historical Society, Colorado Lottery, Arapahoe County and other private and public agencies.
Jack received a Bachelor in Music Education from the University of Denver. While in school there, he sang Wagner in Faust with the Denver Grand Opera Company in the Municipal Auditorium. Following graduation, he took a teaching position at Bird City, KS. Jack went on to garner a Master's degree at Columbia Teachers College in New York. While there he auditioned for the Metropolitan Opera chorus, but as no opening was available at the time, took up teaching at eh high school in Pompton Lakes, NJ, where he remained for 4 years. Next he took an appointment at Oceanside, NY, Senior High School where, for 21 years, he taught choral music, music theory, piano and voice. During a sabbatical from Oceanside in 1969, he studied at California State, Fullerton, and there was cast as Putman in Ward's The Crucible.
After returning to Denver in 1979 to be with his widowed father, Jack taught at Arapahoe Community College for years and then for a year was part-time at the Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, where he taught choir, voice, piano and speech. He also became active in several musical organizations in Denver, including the choir of First Plymouth Congregational Church, in which he sang for over 20 years and frequently was a soloist, and he was in several of the operas performed by the Morrison Opera Company. Jack sang in a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Aeolian Music Club, and which he had be associated for many years. He sang for them a concert of songs that he composed.
Jack's association with the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions began in 1981 when he became a patron. He handled the auditions Transportation duties for 10 years and then accepted the position of Regional Chairman in 1998. For more than 15 years the foremost First Place Award, among the Metropolitan Opera Rocky Mountain Regional Award, has been the Dorothy E. Race Memorial Award honoring Jack's mother. For 20 years Jack was a constant and enlivening force in the Rocky Mountain Met Auditions.
Aside from his many accomplishments, Jack was an avid reader, traveler, gourmet cook, gardener and movie buff. Although Jack never married, he leaves behind many loved ones. He was a friend to many and "Uncle Jack" to most. His large family will miss him, his love, sense of humor, patience, gentleness and generosity.
John W. Race Jr. (Jack) was born November 5, 1924 to John W. and Dorothy Race, both deceased. Jack had one brother, dec. Robert Race (dec. wife Evelyn), sister dec. Jean Race Johnson (dec. husband Edward), and one surviving sister, Carolyn Ruth Race Dolan (husband Robert). Jack has many nieces and nephews whom he "adopted" as his own grandchildren : dec. Kathy Race, dec. Jeannie Race Nelson (husband Dennis), dec. Bryan Race (wife Ranae), Kristine Johnson, dec. Neil Johnson, Erik Johnson, Daniel Dolan, Linda Dolan Tedford (husband Terry), Michael Dolan (wife Kathy), Janet Dolan Zoetewey (husband Bill, Gary Dolan (wife Suzanne). He had many grand nieces and nephews along with great grandchildren too. He had many cousins, family and friends that will miss him.
Viewing & Visitation on Friday, August 23rd 5-8PM, Drinkwine Family Chapel.
Funeral Service on Saturday, August 24th 11AM, First Plymouth Congregational Church, Denver; reception to immediately follow. Burial at Littleton Cemetery after the reception.
To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral section.