Jack Lee Bresee
ONEONTA — Jack Lee Bresee, 88, of Oneonta, passed away on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, at Bassett Healthcare, in Cooperstown.
Jack was born on March 23, 1925, in Binghamton, the son of the late Bert E. and Letha (Cooper) Bresee.
He attended Bugbee School in Oneonta, and was a graduate of Oneonta High School in 1942. After high school, Jack entered the U.S. Naval Reserve Midshipmen School at Cornell University in Ithaca. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, aboard the Light Cruiser Providence (CL82), as a Gunnery Officer in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. After completing his Naval Service Jack returned to Union College, in Schenectady, graduating in 1947. At Union, he was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, and later of the Union Garnet Society. After graduation Jack entered into business with his father at BEB Products, a mail order company.
Jack met Janet Jean Westlund (originally from Decatur, Ill.,) Physical Education and a Dance Instructor at SUNY Oneonta. On Aug. 24, 1952, he and Janet were married in the Little Church Around the Corner in New York City.
In 1960, he opened The Golden Rooster Gift Shop, on Main Street in Oneonta. With the store’s slogan being “As Usual, the Unusual” it was known by locals for its unique inventory. In Oneonta, Jack was a past president of the Downtown Merchants Association, a member of the Jr. Chamber of Commerce, and later the Chamber of Commerce. He was one of the first Chairman of the Fresh Air Fund, and was active in both the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA organizations. During this time Jack also graduated from The Dale Carnegie Course, and served as a graduate assistant for two years.
Pursuing his interest in politics Jack was elected to the Otsego County Board of Supervisors in 1966. Later he became the Chairman of the Reorganization Committee, which became the new County Board of Supervisors. Elected for five consecutive terms, Jack was the Chairman of the Board during his last three years of service.