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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

DELANEY, JOHN (JACK) F.

DELANEY, JOHN (JACK) F.

DELANEY, JOHN (JACK) F. (3 Oct. 1913-4 Feb. 1990), Cleveland policeman (See CLEVELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT) for 41 years, Delaney organized the department's ports and harbor unit and wrote the city's first Water Traffic Code. He was born in Cleveland, the son of John and Gertrude (Dahm) Delaney and attended East Technical High School. He joined the police force in 1937. In addition to writing Cleveland's first water traffic code, he was credited with the idea of using an orange fluorscent flag as a distress signal for boaters--a symbol that became Ohio law in the early 1960s and was adopted elsewhere in the country. He organized the department's ports and harbors unit in 1962 and was the unit's commander until he retired in 1978. In the mid-1980s a Port Authority boat was named after him.

A boater all his life, Delaney was an active volunteer in the Greater Cleveland chapter of the American Red Cross, serving as a water safety and first aid instructor for the chapter. He also trained prospective sailing instructors and helped maintain and repair Red Cross sailing equipment. In 1982, the Red Cross Safety Programs presented him with its Hall of Fame Award.

Delaney married Lucretia K. Holobosh 20 Nov. 1937, and they had 5 children: two sons, Jack C. Jr. and Timothy J. and daughters Carol Fisher, Eileen Kohut, and Peggy Masin. A resident of Cleveland, Delany died here at age 76 and was interred at All Souls Cemetery in Chardon.