In Memoriam: Jack Woods, 74

Senior Credit Executive

Jack Woods, 74, of Saddle River, NJ, formerly of Fort Lee, died on March 10, 2013. At Chase, he was a Chief Credit Officer for Community Banking (which the consumer/retail part of the bank was called at that time) and later on Chief Credit Officer for International Institutional. Born in West Virginia, he was a U.S. Army veteran who served in Korea.

He is survived by his wife, Marie.

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Anyone wishing to add a tribute or remembrance should send it to

From Charlie Haberstroh: I was shocked to learn about Jack’s passing. I knew Jack from Credit Audit days as Team Leader.  You could always level with Jack, which certainly came in handy as we led audit teams around the world. I remember one especially challenging one in Iran in 1977 with John McCullough and Curt Callan in which there were very numerous cultural and other issues which had to be handled delicately. It could not have been handled better than Jack did.
   Another incident will demonstrate how much he cared for his employees. During one trip to London on business when my wife was also traveling for business, my home was broken into in Short Hills, NJ. I informed Jack by phone, and he actually travelled to Short Hills to inspect the damage, report back to me and secure the house. What a great relief! How many bosses would volunteer to do that? He was a real model boss and mentor for me and while we lost touch, my wife and I will never forget his very special actions when we were overseas.

From Michael Curran: I was so sorry to learn of Jack's passing.  He was a great guy and a good friend. We worked together in International Institutional for for two to three years, part of which time, I was stationed in London. Jack managed the unit in New York and was also the Chief Risk Manager. He did a really good job and we became close friends. He was a true gentleman with a perfectly wonderful sense of humor. I think Jack had previously been in the Retail Bank before joining Institutional.
    I so well remember the last time I saw Jack, several years ago. I was riding a NYC bus all the way downtown.  It was empty and I was sitting along the side in the back, reading a book. Suddenly I felt somebody sitting down rather close to me. I looked over and saw a guy with sunglasses and his baseball cap pulled way down in the front.  Soon, he began to nudge me. I slid down, but he did too, with more nudges. I was obviously expecting a real problem. I looked closely at him next to me, and there was the smile! It was Jack and we had a good laugh – one of many we had enjoyed together.
    May God bless him.  I shall always remember the smile and the good times we had together while getting the buiness done.
From Tom Hayne: I remember Jack as a fine gentleman who appeared to be serious all the time, but had a fine sense of humor.  He was an outstanding senior credit officer in International Institutional when I was the executive, and I had similar contacts with Jack in the old Community Banking Department (consumer and Middle Market), where he was extremely effective and was never intimidated by a more senior person.

From Joe McGinity: I’m so sorry to hear of Jack’s passing. We were classmates in Global Credit, entering Chase in 1966. He was ex-Army, I think, and I was ex-Navy. We and our wives got along well and remained friends for years, though I spent most of my time overseas before leaving Chase in 1985.

From Ed Moran: I'm so sorry to hear of Jack's passing. We were good friends through the years and I had lost track of him. Carpe diem. He and I first met when I was going through the accounting course that started Credit Training. Jack was in the classroom taking one of Tony's classes and during a break, Jack walked over to my desk and said "Give me a cigarette".  Just like that. We remained friends through the years and in the early days our families got together several times. My two- and three-year-old daughters called him "chocolate man". Just thinking about him now makes me sad that we hadn't kept up over the years. I think the last time I saw him was at my retirement party in 1985. Time slips away. RIP Woods. You were a good man.

From John McCullough: Tom Hayne's comment about Jack's serious demeanor covering a great dry sense of humor caught him perfectly. Jack took over Credit Audit when I was a Team Leader there, and transitioned us closer to the mainstream of the bank, gently but firmly. Like Jack, I was former Army, one war later, so that gave us a bit a common  ground, but Jack found common ground with many. He was simply a great guy, and a great colleague, who I always thought I would see again...

From Paul Tongue: Jack was one of the best staff credit officers I worked with. Intolerant of male bovine excrement, he could always get right to the crux of any issue.  Despite his sometimes serious demeanor, he could break into laughter to the point of tears.  A great banker and a great friend! Requiescat In Pace, Jack.

From Roger Lieblich: I was very shocked and saddened upon learning that Jack Woods had passed away. He was a "man for all seasons", a good friend and loyal colleague, and he and Marie were a charming couple. It was always fun to be with them. Jack and I spent several years working together at Chase Paris, sharing U.S. corporate clients and prospects in France. "Those were the days my friend" – I and many Chase colleagues will miss Jack dearly.

From Paky Houriet: I met Jack when I was the credit officer for Private Banking out of Geneva. Six months into Chase and, in the absence of my boss, I was asking New York for credit approval for a substantial amount, the proceeds to be used to buy gold, secured by shares. A very angry voice told me this is illegal, against Chase, USA and God. I tried naively to tell him this was a normal legal banking activity in Switzerland. He threatened  with dire consequences and hung up. THEN JACK WOODS HAPPENED TO ME. Jack approved BUT promised a thorough audit. If anything at all was not 100% secured and controlled, we were to stop the activity – and I had to buy him lunch. We had a lovely lunch in Chinatown – and he paid the bill. PBI Geneva never looked back. I will never forget his help, his open mind, his friendly smile. Rest easy my friend. 

From George Rapport: Jack was a wonderful, kind, and intelligent man with a wry sense of humor. I was extraordinarily lucky to have had Jack become my mentor when I arrived in Chase Paris in November 1970. He went out of his way to introduce me to the key people in the back office as well as to my fellow toilers in Commercial Banking. He showed me the best restaurants at which to lunch with clients as well as the jazz bars in the Quartier Latin. He was always willing to answer dumb questions with a humorous grace. I missed him greatly when he was transferred back to New York and always tried to visit with him when I passed through HQ. God bless you, Jack!

From Mike Maher: Jack and I were in the same Credit Training program in 1967, then called the “Special Development Program”. I remember Jack’s superb and timely sense of humor most of all but also his competence as a credit analyst and his constant willingness to help his colleagues. We became good friends outside the bank in those days and then eventually lost touch as we both left. Jack had the perfect qualities to become the outstanding credit executive he became, a quick analytical mind, a willingness to listen, patience and most of all an ability to relate to people.

From Carole Bell: I first encountered Jack in 1970 when he was at Chase Paris and I worked for Henry de Cherge on the French desk in NYC. We met in person when he returned to New York and we became good friends. He was always a kind and caring man and had a great sense of fun.
     My favorite Jack story took place in 1982 when I was pregnant with my son. He and I spoke on a Friday as I was heading off to an appointment with my obstetrician. He jokingly said to me, "Wait till Monday to have the baby - that's my birthday." As it turns out, that is what happened. My son was born on July 12, Jack's birthday. When I got back to my hospital room afterwards, Jack had sent me the biggest bouquet of flowers I had ever seen with a cute note about the timing. I used to call Jack every year on his birthday for many years after that. We kept in touch with him and Marie through Christmas cards until about a year ago when Wade and I were getting ready to move to Sedona. I was very sad to learn of his passing and sorry we had lost touch. He was very special and I'll always remember him fondly. 

From Bruce MacQueen: My good fortune of having to live in NYC, London, Stockholm, Hong Kong and Melbourne was significantly augmented by the benefit of having frequent contacts with Jack. Over a period of 25 years he refused to age, refused to lose his infectious sense of humor and laughter, and refused to stop making you feel that you were the most important person in his presence. I note that my other Chase colleagues feel the same way and I am both jealous of them and envious of him for the pure joy he spread around the earth. Condolences to Marie and to the rest of us.

From Michel Lagoutte: I am shocked to hear of Jack's passing. It seems it was only yesterday when I last saw him at one of those Chase alum meetings. Jack was a great mentor to me and above all he was a friend.