Monday, October 29, 2007

John Bach obituary from the Albany (NY) Times Union, October 2007

Bach, John J. ALBANY John J. Bach, age 77, entered into eternal rest on October 25, 2007 at the Community Hospice Inn at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany, surrounded by his family. Mr. Bach was born in Albany to the late Myron J. and Katherine B. (Flood) Bach. He was a graduate of St. Teresa of Avila Parish School, Christian Brothers Academy and Siena College, earning a bachelor of science in pre-medicine and a master of science in education administration. He pursued further studies at Columbia University, Harvard University, New York University and the University at Albany. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1952 to 1954. In 1955, Mr. Bach began his career as a teacher of biology, chemistry and mathematics, first at Hackett Junior High School and subsequently at the Albany High School, then located on North Lake Ave.; he became guidance counselor at the high school in 1962. In 1966, he was appointed assistant principal of Albany High School and, in 1967, he became the youngest principal in the high school's history. He played a central role in planning the academic and physical design of the present-day Albany High School and was dedicated to the excellence of this program that combined Philip Schuyler High School and the old Albany High School. Mr. Bach served in and loved the role of principal for nearly 20 years. In 1986, Mr. Bach was appointed deputy superintendent for the Albany City School District, and, three years later, he became superintendent of schools. He continued to lead the district until his retirement in 1994. In these roles, he was the impetus behind the creation of magnet school programs in the district and oversaw the establishment of the Albany School of Humanities, the Montessori Magnet School and the Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and Technology. He was also particularly proud of bringing Chinese language instruction to the high school and introducing preschool programs in the district. Mr. Bach's efforts to support and advance education in the city of Albany extended well beyond his work in the public schools. He served as president of the Center for Family and Youth (Project STRIVE), chairman of the board of trustees of Christian Brothers Academy, on which he served for 20 years, member of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany School Board, and as a member of the boards of trustees of the Academy of the Holy Names, St. Anne Institute, and the Capital Region Center for Arts in Education. Mr. Bach served on the board of trustees of the Albany Public Library from 1987 until his death. As president of the library from 2002 to 2007, he led the institution through its transition to independence from the city of Albany's government and budget, and then through the planning of the most comprehensive expansion and renovation of the library's branch system in its long history. Mr. Bach was a communicant at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Albany for 36 years. He was a voracious reader with an insatiable desire for knowledge. He was an avid gardener throughout his life. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of Adirondack lakes and rivers, especially the quiet coves of Lake George that he fished in the company of family members and his dear friend, Bill Weber. He was a lifelong student of history and architecture, especially those of New York City and his beloved Albany. Mr. Bach's family was the center of his life. He is survived by his wife, Patricia Mulderry, who loved him and laughed with him for 46 years; five children who adored him, Ellen M. Bach of Albany, John J. Bach Jr. of New York City, Amy Bach DiLello of Providence, R.I., Erin Mulderry Bach of Washington, D.C., and Kathryn A. Bach of New York City; his sons-in-law, Robert V. Kelley III and Nicholas A. DiLello Jr.; five grandsons, for whom he was storyteller, boat captain and faithful fan, Hugh Robert, Brendan John, and William Patrick Bach Kelley of Albany and Ryan Nicholas and Kieran John DiLello of Providence; brother, Myron J. Bach and his wife Mary Ellyn of Albany, sister, Mary Allen and her husband Stanley of Venice, Fla.; brother-in-law, William J. D. Mulderry of Albany; and sisters-in-law Anne M. Mulderry of Kinderhook, N.Y. and Kathleen M. Smith of East Greenwich, R.I. He was the much-loved "Uncle Jack" to 19 nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister-in-law, Mary M. Smith, brother-in-law, Dennis C. Smith, and nephew, Stephen V. Mulderry. Relatives and friends are invited to call on Sunday from 4-8 p.m. at the Daniel Keenan Funeral Home, 490 Delaware Ave., Albany. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Catherine of Siena Church, Albany. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of John J. Bach to the Albany Public Library Foundation, 161 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12210 or to the American Cancer Society, 260 Osborne Road, Loudonville 12211.

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