HARRISON, NY - John A. “Jack” Styczynski Jr., of Harrison, NY and New Orleans, Louisiana, died suddenly on April 6, 2023 at the age of 57.
Jack is survived by his mother Mary Anne (Harrison) Styczynski, siblings Mark Styczynski and Julie Joly as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. He is pre-deceased by his father John A. Styczynski Sr.
Jack was not only a lifelong sports fan but was defined by it. Following his graduation from Hofstra University in 1988, he went on to an illustrious career in sports media beginning at KEUN Radio in Eunice, Louisiana and continuing through several United States Basketball Writers Association awards and honors (2005, 2008, 2010 and 2012). He became friendly with many top name college basketball coaches, most notably former Hofstra coach Jay Wright, who Jack cheered on to National Championships at Villanova in 2016 and 2018.
Jack was an ardent New Orleans Saints fan and bragged of waiting to the very last minute to get tickets at the cheapest price. He was in attendance for Drew Brees’ last game in January 2021 after having literally danced and quizzed his way into a private suite.
He loved Indy Car racing as well, traveling around the country by rental car in recent years to cheer on his favorite driver Graham Rahal.
Perhaps more notably, Jack was a serious-minded media researcher, having been employed at different times by NBC, the New York Times and People Magazine while rubbing shoulders with some of the top names in American journalism. He had a long stint as a journalism professor at the City University of New York and took pride in the many future successes of his students. In one well-circulated video produced by a former student of his, he speaks of his awareness of the seeming contradiction of being a “great” researcher who didn’t own a personal device for use while out of the office.
He was thrifty and minimalist, living his life by the mantra that he would never own more than what he could fit in the back of his car. Even after he later also swore off car ownership, Jack was indeed able to fit all of his belongings into the back of his brother Mark’s X-Terra when he moved to New Orleans in 2013 for what would become the greatest two years of his life. Jack became deeply involved in rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, spending all of his vacation time assisting in any way he could. He was eventually appointed to a supervisory position with AmeriCorps and became a leader in bringing New Orleans back.
He was quick with a smile and his signature peace sign. After his return to Harrison, NY in 2015, he became legendary on the basketball courts of Rye, keeping pace with those less than half his age and becoming loved by all. He had a surprisingly sarcastic wit that belied his otherwise innocent demeanor.
Jack was deeply religious and regularly attended mass at the Times Square Church in New York City. For most of his life, he was an endless well of positive energy and enthusiasm, bringing out the best in those around him.
He will be missed.
A funeral service will be held at 7:00 PM on Thursday, April 13, 2023 at Compassionate Funeral Care, 402 Maple Ave., (Rte. 9 and/or Marion Ave.), Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Family and friends may call from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM prior to the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity.
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