Report #3 – JACK MOSES – Smilin’ Jack – Gone West

Just as we were getting underway at the FAC Outdoor Champs on Thursday morning, fellow Cloudbuster Ted Allebone, came around to a couple of us and informed us of the news that we were all dreading to hear – our good, good friend, Jack Moses had passed away – “Smilin’ Jack”, as he signed his letters. (continued below picture)


at the 2014 Cloudbusters Picnic. the guest is unknown, but the model is a Big Cat Embryo.

Jack Moses was the epitome of the Flying Aces Club Modeler:  he loved the hobby and I believe he loved everyone he met through the hobby.  I don’t ever recall seeing him in less than a good mood and he almost always had a new plane to fly.  I am pretty sure he built every Dimer that Mike Nassise published in his newsletter.

Jack was a regular fixture at our Cloudbusters contests.  He would show up and fly all those new planes.  In his later years, he wouldn’t be flying for competition, just for fun.  He would throw up a model if we needed a third, but he was just out there because he loved flying models. (continued below picture)


at the Cloudbusters 2104 Picnic. This is Jack and his grandson, Eli, flying a Phantom Flash. This photo was taken and published by the Flint, MI newspaper.

Jack was a fixture for the Flying Aces Club, too.  At this year’s FAC Nats, in July, he was one of a literal handful of attendees that had attended EVERY FAC Nats, since the very first one – and this one was the 20th Nationals contest.  The FAC holds their Nats every two years.  So for 40 years, Jack had been making the trek, bringing his models, flying, and sharing time with hundreds of other people.  Jack was elected to the FAC Hall of Fame in 2004.  He earned a total of 78 kanones and won twice last year. (continued below picture)

Jack Moses with Vance Gilbert when Vance came to Ann Arbor, MI in June 2016

Jack Moses with Vance Gilbert when Vance came to Ann Arbor, MI in June 2016

At the 2012 Nats Banquet, the FAC presented Jack with the FAC Nats flag – it flies over every Nats.  Jack’s late wife, Dorothy, had made the flag and as she had just passed away, the FAC felt it appropriate to retire the old flag and give it back to Jack.   It was a touching moment that brought a tear to many an eye. (continued below picture)


in the Spring of 2016. This is one of Jack’s last models, a Kokusai Ta-Go dime scale.

One of my thoughts on Thursday morning, the first day of the Cloudbusters-sponsored 2016 FAC Outdoor Champs, was that it was somehow appropriate that Jack had passed on a day of the Cloudbusters/FAC contest.  The day was beautiful; in fact, all of the days of our four days of flying were beautiful.  It felt almost as if Smilin’ Jack was smilin’ down on all of us.  Just maybe he was there in spirit, since he couldn’t be with us in body.  While I was sad that we will no longer be flying with him, I celebrated flying and celebrated having known him.  His spirit was and is the Flying Aces Club Spirit.


this photo of Jack was found in his online obituary.

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13 Responses to Report #3 – JACK MOSES – Smilin’ Jack – Gone West

  1. Ted allebone says:

    Perfect George.!


  2. Gerard Kondrat says:

    That was a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. I feel so privileged to have known him. You really captured the essence of his personality. He has left his mark on all of us and we are better for having known him.
    Thank you George

  3. Eric Specht says:

    I called him “Smilin’ Jack” before I knew he was known as such.
    He was always a pleasure to be around and converse with. I met Jack in
    2001 in Geneseo and made it a point to hang out with him every time I
    saw him at an event. At this past week’s outdoor Champs I had just asked my friend Charlie if he had seen Jack at the event yet. I was looking forward to seeing him again and was unaware of his declining health. I heard of his passing less than an hour later. Rest in peace dear sweet man. I will never forget you.

  4. Mike Welshans says:


    Excellent and I will share it with our club email distribution list. I think we all felt the same way about Jack.


  5. Tom Hallman says:

    Thanks for the beautiful tribute, George. I looked forward to seeing Jack each year at Geneseo and Muncie. He was a character and the epitome of FAC spirit. I’ll miss sharing the fields with him.

  6. Mark Braunlich says:

    Nice report George.

  7. Vance says:

    Wonderful, George. As capturing of the spirit of Jack as we’ll ever get. Thank you.
    And thanks Jack. You made the best airliners and grilled cheese ever.

  8. Mark Fineman says:

    I first met Jack at the 1980 FAC Nats at Dayton. What a prince of a man! I looked forward to seeing him at the Nats every two years thereafter, and I was never disappointed. He was simply a wonderful human being, kind, enthusiastic and possessed of a sense of joy that was contagious.

  9. Tom Schmitt says:

    There is little that I can add to the comments already posted.
    Jack was a complete person and a friend to all — especially to this fellow.

  10. Pres and Tove Bruning says:

    What a wonderful and extremely talented modeler Jack was who shared his hobby with everyone. We called each other; ” ROOMIE” as we shared a motel room with one another and would drive together to major FAC contests in New York and Muncie, Ind. I will sorely miss him and my sincere condolences go out to his entire family. Pres and Tove Bruning

  11. Dave Mitchell says:

    Peace, Jack. Keep them props spinnin’!!

  12. Rottensox says:

    I’ve known Gentleman Jack for 46 years. He added much to my life and I will miss him. He was a good and trusted friend as well as a great model builder. We went to the NATS together when he was awarded his Blue Max. He said he would have gone there on roller skates if he had to just to get it. Thank you George for the good words.

  13. Roy Courtney says:

    Diane and I always looked forward to seeing “gentleman Jack” as we called him since the first Geneseo Nats. Always friendly, gracious, helpful and smiling. I know how much the Cloudbusters club will miss Jack, as will anyone who met him. Nice tribute George.

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