UPDATE: With tremendous sadness, we announce the passing of Mr. Lundin at Fairfax Hospital on November 10, 2022. Our condolences to his family and everyone in our Scouting family who mourn this loss. He will be missed by many who appreciated his help and dedication through these many decades. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
If your son is or was a Scout in the Vienna Virginia area and achieved the rank of Eagle, chances are pretty good he sat in Jack Lundin’s family room. Jack has played an exemplary role in the lives of many Scouts on their journey towards Eagle.
More accurately, that figure is 881 young men at the time of this writing. Jack keeps an on going log in his white binder of every single scout who comes to see him as part of their Eagle Scout Service Project and Eagle Application Process, usually culminating in an Eagle Scout Board of Review (BOR).
Jack recently celebrated his 99th birthday and has no plans to slow down. He continues to meet with at least 1 Eagle Scout candidate each week.
I first met Jack when my oldest of three sons went through the Eagle application process. Later, I would meet with Jack at his home as the Scoutmaster of Troop 976 with many of our Eagle candidates during my tenure in that position. My other two boys would soon follow their older brother. Jack is a kind hearted soul who really knows how to connect with young scouts. He challenges them with interesting, thought provoking questions centered around service to others, good citizenship, and leadership. And yet, he was somewhat of a mystery to me and my fellow Scout Leaders. Seeing a photo of Jack celebrating with yet another successful Eagle Scout, I was compelled to visit him and learn more about our hometown Scouting legend.
Jack Lundin was born in St. Paul Minnesota on September 23, 1923, 13 years after the Scout Movement first came to America; a movement that Jack’s father was part of establishing in the St. Paul area. Jack achieved the Eagle Rank in 1937 with Troop 65, chartered by the Cleveland Methodist Church. He graduated from Monroe High school in 1941. He would spend the following summer working on the “Empire Builder” passenger train of the Great Northern Railway as a “news butch” selling newspapers and refreshments for just $2 a day while riding the train back and forth to South Dakota. He earned enough money to pay for his first year’s tuition at the University of Minnesota where he studied Chemical Engineering.
Jack’s academics were put on hold during WWII when he decided to enlist in the U.S. Army as a pre-meteorologist in January of 1943. After he completed basic training at Kearns Airfield, near Salt Lake city, he was sent to the University of Wisconsin for further training, then to Chanute Airfield, IL, to attend the meteorology cadet school. Jack was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in June of that same year. For the next 6 months he worked in the weather station at Dale Mabry Field in Florida and was then transferred to the Air Transport Command in Myitkyina, Burma, to support the War in the Pacific. Jack served as the Weight and Balance Officer in charge of loading aircraft preparing to travel over the Hump, the nickname given to the treacherous journey over the Himalayan Mountain Range into China. After the war Jack returned to the states and was honorably discharged in 1946.
Upon his return Jack continued his education at the University of Minnesota earning a BS in Mathematics, Physics and Radiochemistry. He was then employed by Macalester College in St. Paul as a Chemistry Instructor. In 1951 Jack was hired by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) where he worked for the next 35 years! During that time, the CIA would send him to the Oak Ridge School of Reactor Training where he became a Nuclear Engineer.
During Jack’s many adventures and achievements he would marry his lovely wife Kyle in 1949 and share his life with her for the next 59 years until her passing. They had 4 children together; three sons Erick (1951), James (1954), and Robert (1957), and a wonderful daughter Susan (1964).
Jack moved to Vienna Virginia in 1952. His long history in Scouting began in his youth and was later nurtured when in 1967 he would volunteer to serve on a the Naval War College’s Troop Committee while he was attending classes there. Upon returning to Vienna he joined Troop 152 chartered by the Vienna Presbyterian Church. He served as Scoutmaster from 1969 to 1975 and supported his three sons on their journey to Eagle. He became an Area Commissioner and soon joined the National Capital Area Council’s (NCAC) High Adventure Committee where he was a member for 35 years. He completed two Crew Treks as an Adult Advisor on the Philmont Scout Ranch in 1978 and 1982. He currently serves as the Chairman of the George Mason District’s Eagle Board that he joined in 1975.
Jack Lundin has been a registered Scout Leader for 59 years! Imagine for a moment how many young men Jack has positively influenced in that time. His grandson’s Timothy and David also joined the Lundin Eagle’s nest when both achieved the rank in 2002. Jack was proud to show me his family room mantel that hosts his numerous scouting achievements such as his Troop Scoutmaster Award (Troop 152, 1972), the Silver Beaver Award (NCAC, 1981), the Excellence in Scouting Award (NCAC, 2007), the Hal Fuerst Service Award (Troop 152, 2009), two George Mason District Key Three Awards (2012, 2014), and the very prestigious Lifetime Scouter Award (NCAC, 2015).
Thank you Mr. Jack Lundin for all you have done and still do for our youth, our community, and for your service to our country. May you enjoy many more birthdays to come.
As of 10.27.22 I have just learned that Jack has officially retired from Scouting. I know he would appreciate hearing from our Scouting community.