Aug. 11, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – John Vincent “Jack” Rockne, the last remaining child of legendary University of Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne, died Sunday afternoon, at Sanctuary at Holy Cross in South Bend, Ind., due to complications from cancer. He was 82.
“I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet and get to know Jack Rockne,” Irish head football coach Charlie Weis said. “He was an admirable man who showed great respect for his father and his legacy. In my last conversation with Jack, his only regret was that his physical condition would prevent him from attending the Notre Dame games this year. Now he can watch the games with Knute.”
Rockne was born April 14, 1926, in South Bend, as the youngest son of Knute and Bonnie Rockne.
He is survived by four children – Knute Kenneth, of Salt Lake City, Utah; Jeanne Anne, of Columbus, Ohio; Nils Lars, of Dallas, Texas; and Erik Joseph, of South Bend, along with 15 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Bonnie (Skiles) and Knute; brothers Knute Lars and William Dorias and sister MaryJeane; wife Joann (Hays) who died in 2005; and four sons — John Olaf, Paul Michael, William Vincent and Timothy Sven.
Rockne attended St. Joseph Grade School in South Bend. He graduated from Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wis. After serving with the Marine Corps from 1944 to 1946, He attended Notre Dame from 1947-1949, transferred to Utah State University and graduated in 1951. Jack Rockne and Joann Hays (a New Carlisle, Ind., native) were married March 19, 1949, in South Bend.
He received an honorary monogram from the Notre Dame Monogram Club in 2006 and had been actively involved with the Notre Dame athletic department’s Rockne Heritage Fund.
Memorial contributions can be made in Rockne’s name to the Rockne Heritage Fund at the University of Notre Dame.
Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. (ET) Friday at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus.
— ND —