Jack Tiffany

January 6, 1932January 31, 2018

Lyme- Today, January 31, 2018, Lyme lost one of its last remaining old swamp Yankees with the death of John J. Tiffany II. Jack, as he much preferred to be called, was extremely proud of his Yankee heritage. He traced his paternal ancestors back to Squire Humphrey Tiffany, who immigrated to this country from England in the mid 1600’s. Squire Humphrey is considered by most genealogists to be the first Tiffany in America. His two youngest sons, Consider and Ephraim, who were born in the colonies first bought land in Lyme in 1693, and the family has maintained presence here ever since. Jack is named after his grandfather, John J. Tiffany. Jack is the first born son of Leon H. and Gwendolyn Tiffany. He was born in Lyme and had his schooling here. He graduated from Old Lyme High School in 1950 and was valedictorian of his graduating class. Following graduation, he enrolled at the University of Connecticut, College of Agriculture. He graduated four years later with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dairy Production. His diploma states that he graduated with distinction and highest honors. Immediately following graduation, Jack was drafted into the Army. After basic training Jack was assigned to a construction battalion in the Corps of Army Engineers. During the summer of 1955 he participated in Operation Dew Line. Dew Line was the construction of radar bases north of the Arctic Circle. Following discharge from the service, he returned to the farm and worked with his father and brother in its operation. Shortly after getting back to the farm, he was approached by the Republican Town Committee and asked to run for the Board of Selectmen. He did and was elected and served one term on the board. In 1964 a spot opened up on the Lyme delegation to the General Assembly due to the tragic death of a recently elected member. Jack sought the nomination and was elected in a special election to fill the vacancy and was sworn in in early 1964. There was no election in 1965 due to the fact that the Supreme Court in the one man one vote edict declared the existing situation unconstitutional and required a redistricting of the state in 1966. In 1967 Jack found himself in the 36th district along with six other representatives. After a spirited primary and the retirement of a number of the existing legislators, Jack was re-elected to the General Assembly, thus beginning a stand of 30 years in the General Assembly. Jack was one of only a handful of electors in the state to have served in the General Assembly both prior to and after apportionment. This he considered a singular achievement. During his long tenure in the General Assembly, he served on a number of different committees both as chairman, ranking member and straight committee member. His favorite committees were the Environment and Agriculture, although he did serve briefly as chairman of the Veterans and Public Employees Committee. Along with the regular committee assignments during the number of years he was in the General Assembly, he also served on several panels and special commissions appointed by either the legislative leadership or the governor. Jack was especially proud of the fact that he was one of the main supporters of Public Act 490, which was the taxation of agricultural land and also the preservation of agriculture through the purchase of development rights. During his tenure he was recognized on numerous occasions by various agricultural, civic and environmental organizations for his contributions to the state. He was listed on several occasions in Who’s Who in American Politics and singled out for special recognition by both the Dairy Committee and the College of Agriculture at UConn and also by the College of Agriculture Alumni Association. In 1965 Jack was elected to the Lyme Board of Education and served for several years as chairman of the board. He was an early supporter of Regionalization and was elected Vice Chairman of the first regional school board. In 1966 Jack was fortunate enough to marry Susan Bradeen of Essex. Susan was the eldest daughter of Robert and Vesta Bradeen. She was a city girl, having recently worked in Boston and San Antonio. However, she quickly acclimated to farm life and was soon driving both tractors and trucks. Jack and Susan’s first child, Hannah, was born in 1970. Hannah went through the local school system and graduated from the College of Agriculture at Cornell University. Their second child, John was born in 1975, and he, too, went through the local school system and attended UConn, although he came back to work on the farm before graduating. Jack has two grandchildren, Erica and Lauren Schillawski, daughters of Hannah and David Schillawski. Jack’s brother, Lee, was tragically killed in a hunting accident in 1980, and Jack became sole proprietor of the farm. Farming is a full time job, and fortunately Jack had little interest in traveling or any special interest hobbies, although in his younger years he did enjoy horseback riding, and over the course of early youth and adulthood owned several good saddle horses. Because of his interest in horses, in the early 50’s Jack and a couple other horse enthusiasts re-established the Hamburg Horse Show which was run in conjunction with the Hamburg Fair. The horse show was quite a popular event and ran for a decade or more. Over the course of his adult life, Jack was involved in a number of agricultural and civic organizations. He was a lifetime member of the Lyme Grange and was also active in farm bureau and other agricultural endeavors, including Dairy Herd Improvement Association, the Artificial Breeding Association and the American Guernsey Club. Jack’s aim in life was to improve the farm and make it an attractive homestead and also to try to make Lyme a great place to live. Jack is survived by several cousins, namely Carter Courtney, son of his late aunt, Dorothy Courtney, Wendy Figler and Michael Willett, children of Jack’s mother’s late sister-in-law, and Lee Rhodes, daughter of Jack’s late aunt Rachael. He is also survived by his late brother’s children, David, Jennifer, and Andrea. In lieu of flowers, friends can make a contribution to Center for Hospice Care, 227 Dunham St., Norwich, CT 06360, Lyme Fire Company, 213 Hamburg Rd., Lyme, CT 06371 or Lyme Ambulance Association, P.O. Box 911, Hadlyme, CT 06439.


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Jack Tiffany

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Con O'Leary

February 7, 2018

I worked with Jack when I was Senate Democratic Minority Leader and Majority Leader. He was a bright guy and a straight shooter. I remember one time when the Democratic Senators were caucusing on an environmental bill and several of the Senators asked "what does Jack Tiffany think of this?" That's pretty high praise!
Con O'Leary

Martha Kneen

February 5, 2018

Jack and Sue Tiffany were wonderful neighbors and always helpful. Their farm is a treasure to our little Lyme Community. Jack embodied the great Connecticut "Old Yankee" spirit!

February 5, 2018

I will greatly miss seeing Jack on one of the tractors as I pass by the farm almost daily.

Philip Robertson

February 5, 2018

I was honored to serve with Jack my three years as a State Representative. Jack was a kind, caring and decent gentleman. He was very quiet but also very strong.

I consider myself very fortunate in having Jack's influence and guidance in the early years of my political life.

Thank you Jack.

February 4, 2018

Jack was a bright light that brought sanity to the world around him.

steven spellman

February 4, 2018

I also had the honor of serving in the General Assembly with Jack, Unfortunately he was the last of the 'farmer-legislators", He was intelligent and personable and didn't care whether you were a democrat or republican, only that your word was good and where you stood on the issues. More than anything, he had an outstanding gift for expressing comon sense.

Sid Holbrook

February 4, 2018

Jack was one of the best Legislators to have ever served in Hartford I learned a lot from him .if there were more like Jack we would be a better state

February 4, 2018

Leon and Norman Swaney

Ken Tripp

February 4, 2018

I had the honor and privilege of serving with Jack in the legislature in the early 80's. He was a gentle, intelligent, very respected leader. His presence would have been a huge asset in the current times.
Ken Tripp R-90