Region Remembering Businessman, Restaurateur

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A well-known Valparaiso businessman is being remembered throughout the region. Jack Hood owned a major newspaper hauling business, restaurants and race horses and is estimated to have employed more than 600 workers at companies that had a presence in dozens of states. A funeral service is set for Monday. Hood was 74. August 8, 2014

Jack Hood

October 4, 1939 - August 6, 2014

Obituary From Moeller Funeral Home

VALPARAISO, Ind. - Jack E. Hood, 74, of Valparaiso passed away Wednesday, August 6, 2014 due to injuries sustained in a car accident on August 5th. He was born October 4, 1939 in Decatur, Illinois, graduated from Tuscola High School and served with the U.S. Navy. Jack enjoyed his life as an entrepreneur, owning and operating Jack Hood Transportation, Express Newspapers, Inc., Kelsey's Steak House of Valparaiso and Portage, IN, and J and P Racing. He built the largest privately-owned newspaper hauling business in the United States, covering 38 states, Jack always joked that he had the "world's largest paper route."

At the age of 70, he and his wife purchased Kelsey's Steak House. The restaurant was featured on the Travel Channel. Jack employed over 600 people between his various businesses.

One of his greatest loves was his involvement with Peggy in the horse racing business. Over 34 years they owned hundreds of race horses and regularly attended the races at Sportsman's Park and more currently at Balmoral Park. Gil Levine, the former announcer at Sportsman's Park would refer to them as the "Hoods of Valparaiso." Over 30 years ago, Jack initiated another partnership with Dennis Lakomy of Mystical Marker Farms. Many prize winning horses emerged from this relationship. Among Jacks favorites were Kelly's Keepsake, Champion On Ice, a world champion, and two Hambletonian starters, Classic Photo and Man of Many Missions.

On August 29, 1980, he married Peggy (Rives) Hood who survives along with children: Doug Hood of California, Stacy (Dale) Hood-Forney of Chesterton, Michelle Prosser of Valparaiso, Greg Hood of Canada, Jeff (Lisa) Hood of Chesterton, Cathy (Scott) Howard of Valparaiso, Heather (Jeff) Klingler of Valparaiso, Chris (Kelli) Hood –Bennett of Wanatah, grandchildren: Daniel, Jonathan, Nikki, Jackie, Justine, Blake, Steven, Cody, Bailey, Grant, Taya, Evan, Logan, Hunter, Emma & Owen and great grandchildren: Cadence, Gwen & Ava. He was preceded in death by one son, Art Prosser, and grandson Bret Laczynski.

A "Sharing of Memories Service" will be held at 2:30 pm on Sunday August 10, 2014 at Moeller Funeral Home, 104 Roosevelt Rd., Valparaiso, with Visitation from 2 - 8 pm. A funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Monday 11:00 am, with Visitation starting at 10 am until the time of service. Committal Service will follow at Graceland Cemetery Mausoleum. Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor's choice. MoellerFuneralHome.com

Source: Angelcrest Inc.