Albert James Hackl, 92, of Indianapolis, died May 12, 2018.
Jim is survived by his devoted wife of 67 years, Christine (Magruder) Hackl, eight children and their spouses; Christine Hackl Walsh(Michael), Carmel, Indiana; Albert James Hackl, Jr. (Margueritte Michel), Carmel, Indiana; Martha Hackl Smith (Stephen), Atlanta, Georgia; Frederick Abbey Hackl(Marita Jansen), Harbor Springs, Michigan; Elizabeth Hackl Brainard, Indianapolis, Indiana; Ellen Hackl Fagan(Brendan ((d.)), Greenwich, Connecticut; Robert Theodore Hackl(Jo Watson), Greenville, S.C.; and Dorothy Hackl Reiser (Carl) of Westerly, Rhode Island; 31 grandchildren, 12 grandchildren's spouses, and 15 great grandchildren.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents Albert T. and Martha (Schwabe) Hackl and his sister, Martha Ellen of Bartow, Florida where Jim was born and attended public schools, and his faithful dog "Suzy."
Jim graduated from high school in 1943, at the height of WWII. Through competitive examination, he was accepted in the Navy V12, college training program and sent to Georgia Tech. The war ended prior to Jim's graduation as a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering. After several month's post war active duty and at the ripe old age of 20, Jim was released from active duty as an Ensign in the Navy in 1946 at which time he joined the Trane Company, manufacturers of air conditioning/heating equipment as a sales engineering trainee.
After earlier assignments, Jim was sent to Jackson, Mississippi to open a sales office for Trane. It was there that Jim met, wooed and then won the hand of Christine Magruder of a multi-generational Mississippi family heritage. They were married November 22, 1950 in St. Peter's Catholic Church, Jackson, Mississippi.
Shortly after Jim and Christine's marriage, Jim was recalled to active duty by the Navy during the Korean War and served as engineering officer of a destroyer, the USS Miller (DD535), including duty in Korean waters.
Upon release from active duty, Jim returned to the air conditioning industry where he enjoyed a successful career with The Trane Company and Sudebaker-Worthington Corporation, lastly as President of its Air Conditioning Division and Corporate Group Vice - President. During their career advancements, Jim, Christine and their growing family made their homes in Dallas, Texas, LaCrosse, WI, and Summit, NJ.
In 1968 the family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana as Jim made a career change from an engineering products industry to becoming President and C.E.O. of Herff Jones Company, a manufacturer of class rings and other scholastic and graduation related products.
During his tenure, Herff Jones achieved significant growth from a small, publicly held company to a national leader in its industry with multiple manufacturing plants and several thousand employees and sales representatives. Jim further initiated and personally directed Herff Jones' merger with Carnation Co. in 1973, its re-emergence as an independent company by virtue of a leveraged buyout from Nestle', S.A. in 1985 and later transfer of 100% ownership to its employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan ("ESOP") which provided extra-ordinary financial benefit and security to thousands of Herff Jones employees and their families.
Upon retirement from Herff Jones in 1995, Jim established a family partnership, for the purchase and operation of pine tree plantations in Florida and Georgia which planted over eight million pine trees.
Jim was inducted into Georgia Tech's Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni in 1994 and was recognized as the 1998 Ernst & Young Indiana Entrepreneur of Year in the Master Category. He also received recognition in his "home town" with induction into the Bartow High School Hall of Fame and the Polk county Public Schools Hall of Fame. Jim along with Christine were awarded honorary doctorate (PhD) degrees by Marian University, Indianapolis on May 9, 2015.
While working at his job and raising a large family was Jim's main focus, in his spare time, he managed to serve as co-chairman of the building committee of St. Luke Church, Indianapolis for construction of its new Sanctuary in 1981. He was also President of Mountain Lake Club, Lake Wales, Florida, a member of its Board of Directors and serviced as chairman of the building committee for its major renovation. While it was generally accepted among his friends that Jim preferred work to play, he enjoyed the camaraderie of the golf and bridge groups at Meridian hills Country Club and Mountain Lake. Fishing was his favorite recreational pastime when time and location permitted.
Jim was a member of St. Luke Catholic Church, Indianapolis and Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Lak Wales. Jim, in concert with his wife, Christine, supported numerous charities through the years including the funding of permanent endowments for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, St. Luke Church and School, Indianapolis, St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, Indiana University Medical School, Mayo Clinic, The Church Services Center, Bartow, Florida, The Albert J. and Christine M. Hackl Endowment Fund f/b/o Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Lake Wales, Florida, The Hackl Family Endowment for Charity in Polk County, Florida and The Hackl Family Endowed Scholarship Fund at Marian University in Indianapolis and the Albert James and Christine Magruder Hackl Family Trust f/b/o the Church and Poor in the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi.
The well being of the family was always Jim's priority and he took great pleasure in witnessing the strengthening bonds that developed among his children and grandchildren through the years. Ever thankful, Jim's oft stated view of himself was that he was "just a pretty fair salesman who got lucky."
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 from 4-7 PM at Leppert Mortuary - Nora Chapel, 740 E. 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 11:30 AM at St. Luke Catholic Church, 7575 Holliday Drive East, Indianapolis, IN.
Contributions in his memory may be made to Marquette Manor or Little Sisters of the Poor.
To share a memory, please visit www.leppertmorutary.com.
8 people have supported the family by purchasing them flowers or gifts from the Healing Registry.
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Mr. Hackl was a kind and generous man. Who was a good and generous man. He enriched all who knew him by his presence and generosity. I know that we will all miss him. I also know that he will never have to suffer again. He is with the Lord.
Praying for all
Uncle Jim was an amazingly accomplished and generous man. His large family of wonderful kids are a testament to his and Christine's character and good parenting. He set an example for us all.
Mr. Hackl was a great man who made many lives better by having been associated with him.
Cindy and I (Matt Bartlett) are saddened to hear of Jim's passing. I of course have fond memories of Pickwick from childhood and recall always seeing Mr. Hackle (as of course we regarded Jim then) out walking Suzy. And, as a resident (with Cindy, Melissa, Caroline and Steven) returned to Pickwick later and raising own kiddos there, we all again enjoyed seeing and chatting with Jim as he strolled by - of course with Suzy (III or IV?). A more proud father and grandfather would be hard to find!
The best thing that ever happened for Herff Jones and all of us was Jim Hackl taking over as CEO
No matter what problems arose Jim always found an answer that was more than fair and did it with grace
Most of us know how he changed so many lives for the better and I know I will never forget what he did for me and my family and Jim, along with my dad Jack Williams, had the greatest influence on my life. I feel very fortunate to have known and been friends with such a great man.
My warmest regards to Christine and the rest of the family. Van Williams
My grandpa was an extraordinary man who positively affected the lives of all those around him. He was a tremendous role model, and an excellent fisherman. I'll miss you, grandpa.
Jim was an extraordinary guy. When you were in his presence you could not help but be impressed. Smart, fun, humble, loving and inspiring. Jim and Christine were always such gracious hosts when we visited them at Lake Wales.
Our heartfelt love and prayers to Christine and the family.
Ron & Donna Snyder
Mr. Hackl contributed to the fellowship for oncology at the Urology Department at Indiana University Medical School. I had the privilege of being a colleague of John Donohue who, I think, treated Mr. Hackl. As a result of Mr. Hackl's support, we have trained urologic oncologists in US Military, Ireland, Germany, Israel, Egypt, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Australia, and Greece. Mr. Hackl's contribution has improved the care here and in those countries. We have great gratitude for what he accomplished.
I did not know him but I have seen the results of his support.
Professor of Urology
Mr. Hackl was such a great man. His upbeat attitude and smile was always present when he visited us in Montgomery Alabama. His implementation of the ESOP and making us employee owners has changed all of our lives for the better. I can't think of anything that has effected my life more than being able to support my family even after retirement. There aren't many people in this world that look to the betterment of others. He did! I'm so grateful for that and all he did for us at Herff Jones. My condolences and heart felt love to all his family and friends.
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