John "Jack" Lefley

July 29, 1920April 12, 2019

John (Jack) Lefley

July 29, 1920 – April 12, 2019

Miami, FL

John (Jack) Lefley was born in Cleveland but his true home town was Chicago, the city of great food and architecture. When he was a young boy his aunt gave him his first crystal radio. That was the beginning of a lifelong hobby and love of all things audio. He managed the police radio transmitter for the West Side of Chicago and, during WWII, served as a Chief Radio Officer with the US Merchant Marine, Navy and Coast Guard. He loved jazz and played drums in a swing band as a young man.

After living through the Great Depression and WWII, Jack wanted to make the world a better place by making his career in City Planning and Public Administration. He attended the University of Chicago, where he studied under Rexford Tugwell and earned his Master’s Degree. As a planner he worked for the City of Chicago planning department and was Deputy Director of the Cook County Housing Authority. He also taught city planning at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Jack met his wife, Harriet, in Chicago at a May Day meeting and married 10 months later, in 1958, He adopted her young son Keith and in 1965 they had a daughter, Carla. In 1967 he and his family moved to the Bahamas, where he worked with the Ministry of Development and served as resident advisor in industrial development to Prime Minister Lynden Pindling. They then moved to Miami, where he worked in the Model Cities project for the Dade County planning department. He later served in the Building and Zoning department of the City of Miami.

Jack was a foodie, a health nut, a jazz lover, and an audiophile. He enjoyed trying different restaurants, studying the effects of food on health and playing Dixieland jazz music from his vast collection of audio equipment. He loved to research, read and learn. He enjoyed sitting in his Florida room, reading the papers, discussing the state of the world, and looking out over his beautiful canal.

After a brief battle with cancer he passed away on April 12th, 2019. We will miss him dearly.

He is survived by his beloved wife Harriet, daughter Carla, and brother Robert. He is further survived by Doris (sister-in-law), Wendy (daughter-in-law), Roan (grandson), Kayleigh (granddaughter), Joshua (nephew), and Janet (niece). Jack is pre-deceased by his son Keith.


  • Funeral Service Sunday, April 21, 2019

John "Jack" Lefley

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