Jack Kemp at core was a nice man | VailDaily.com

Jack Kemp at core was a nice man

Karen Briggs
Vail, CO, Colorado

I would like to send my condolences to the family of the Honorable Jack Kemp. I didn’t know him as a politician. I met Jack at a Steadman Hawkins Research Foundation Board meeting in the early ’90s.

I was awestruck by him. He was a powerful figure in politics, and he still looked like a football player. I was then introduced to him by Dr. Steadman. We had a nice talk about how long I had worked there and where I was from. Then there was a little football talk. Over the years I learned he loved football as much as I did.

He attended many foundation functions and always participated in our board meetings with meaningful information. He directed us to several grants and found new board members who were also amazing.

But the part I remember most is that Jack Kemp was a nice man. He always shook my hand and asked how everything was going. He even remembered by name. He would always take some time so we could discuss football. We talked a lot about his Buffalo Bills. There were several late December board meetings that started at 7 am. Jack’s only request was that he be excused at 11a.m. so he could go watch the Bills. In 1995, it was the Bills vs. Broncos. The board got all their work done that day by 11a.m.

He was a great asset to our board of directors. He always took time to tell us individually how proud he was of our work. Jack had so many great features, but to me he wasn’t a politician. He was a nice man who really cared about the people and the research at the Steadman Hawkins Research Foundation. Every year before the board meeting I would brush up on the Bills stats.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

This year I will check in on the Bills and remember how fun it was to talk football with the Honorable Jack Kemp. He will be greatly missed.

Karen Briggs


Support Local Journalism