Albion College Philosophy Professor Emeritus Jack Padgett, age 85, died January 20 after four years battling pancreatic cancer.

He was born June 2, 1926 in Haddonfield, NJ,  son of William & Della (Finney) Padgett.  On December 21, 1943 he married Kitty Long from Baltimore, MD and she survives.  Other survivors include two sons, Stephen of Seattle, WA and Thomas (Rosemary Souza) of Sparks, NV; two daughters, Deborah (Gary Nickel) Padgett of Plymouth, WI, Susan (Rick) White of Springfield, VT; a brother, Allen (Dottie) of Ormond Beach, FL; 4 grandchildren, Katie and Grant White, Allie and Emma Padgett, and many nieces & nephews.  He was preceded in death by three brothers, Cliff, Bill, and Bob, and a sister, Doris Roller.


As a member of the US Marine Corp, he was wounded on Okinawa and  awarded a Purple Heart.  After graduating from Juniata College, he earned an S.T.B from Boston University School of Theology  where he discovered his passion for Philosophy.  As a Dempster Fellow he then earned his PhD  in Philosophy from B.U. Graduate School.  At Simpson College in  Indianola, IA he was Director of the Vital Center program, and Professor of Philosophy.

Jack joined the faculty of Albion College in 1965 as Director of the new Basic Ideas Program, later becoming Chair of the Philosophy Department.  A popular but demanding teacher he received Albion’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 1975.  His publications focused on ethics and moral philosophy. After introducing Medical Ethics and Business Ethics into the curriculum he was often called upon as a  speaker on these relatively new topics.

For many years Jack chaired the Ethics Committee on the board for Hospice Care of  Battle Creek. After retirement he continued to lead  seminars for adult learners, especially on issues related to Death & Dying.

Jack found joy from his family & friends, from teaching philosophy, and from UM football.

A memorial service was held Sunday, February 12, 2:30 p.m. at Silver Maples of Chelsea.  A Celebration  of Life  will follow at Albion College at a later date. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.  Memorial contributions are suggested to the Jack Padgett Award in Philosophy at Albion College, or to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Arrangements by Cole Funeral Chapel, Chelsea.

Click here to view or sign Jack's online guestbook