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Jack Shales, co-founder of Shales McNutt Construction and a former president of the Fox Valley Associated General Contractors (1992-1993) has died on January 26. (The Fox Valley AGC recently amalgamated with the Builders’ Association to become the Chicagoland Associated General Contractors.)
Shales, 82, Elgin lived his entire life in Elgin, with the exception of his three years in the Marine Corps in Korea from 1951 to 1953, his published obituary reports. He started his career at Illinois Hydraulic Construction Co. in 1954, the year he married Marlene Kane. (They recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary).
In 1983, after 27 years with Illinois Hydraulic, Shales co-founded the construction company Seagren/Shales, Inc. In 2001, he was a founding partner of Shales McNutt Construction.
In 2004, Shales was recognized as the United Way of Elgin‘s longest-serving volunteer (at 50 years) and the united way created its highest award, The Jack Shales Spirit of Community Award, in his honor annually “to a company that shows exceptional corporate responsibility and community involvement.”
A decade later, the United Way site quotes Shales as saying: “As I celebrate my 60th anniversary as a United Way volunteer, I am filled with many fond memories. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people and great organizations, building friendships that have lasted a lifetime. I can’t think of a better way for any of us to touch so many lives and know that we’re making a real difference. That’s why I LIVE UNITED.”
Shales started with the United Way in 1954 and served on the board for many years, including as board chair in 1988. He also chaired the annual campaign several times, most recently as the honorary chair for the 2013-14 campaign. He was one of five lifetime directors on United Way’s board.