John Schlight
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John Schlight
  • November 20, 1926 - September 6, 2017
  • Ft Belvoir, Virginia

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Demaine Funeral Home

520 South Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
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Colonel (Retired) John "Jack" Schlight passed away peacefully on September 4th 2017 at the age of 90. Jack was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1926.
He graduated from Bishop Loughlin High School in 1944. That same year he joined an order of Benedictine monks in Newton, New Jersey as a postulant. He started college at the monastery of St. Paul's in Newton, then in 1945 joined St Vincent's Abbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, a larger Benedictine school, for his final two years. In the Benedictine order Jack was known as Frater George. The order encouraged him to seek an advanced (Master's) degree in philosophy at Fordham College in New York City in 1949. Jack left the Benedictine order in 1952 to join the Air Force, moving from spiritual to more "worldly" service to mankind. While stationed in Japan he met and married Ellen Mahood.
He served as a navigator in the Korean War and as a historian and author in Vietnam. Jack was honored to be chosen as a professor for one of the first classes to attend the newly established Air Force Academy campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado.In 1961 Jack left Colorado to attend Princeton University where he attained his PhD in history. He then returned to the Air Force Academy as a professor of history until 1973 when he relocated to the Washington DC area to join the faculty at the National War College. Jack also held a position as a Professor of History at George Washington University. During his distinguished academic career Jack wrote numerous articles for military journals and contributed chapters to a number of books and textbooks on military history. He authored five scholarly books on military history. Jack's passion for medieval history inspired him to write a book on Henry II followed by another on medieval military history. He retired from the United States Air Force with the rank of Colonel in October, 1989.

Jack and Ellen lived in the Riverside Gardens neighborhood of Alexandria for 35 years prior to moving into The Fairfax. Once at The Fairfax Jack immersed himself into his many interests, including co-authoring a book on the creation of The Fairfax community and working in the library. He wrote many book reviews for the Fairfax's newspaper, The Flambeau, enjoyed and appreciated by many of the residents. Often a "lonely liberal" amongst a more conservative community he and Ellen thrived at The Fairfax and they leave many devoted friends.

Jack was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 61 years, Ellen Louise Mahood Schlight, their youngest daughter Gretchen Marie Schlight Maloney and his brother Robert Schlight. He is survived by his three children Nora Mary Rowny (Kendre), Julia Elizabeth Bunnell, and John Andrew Schlight (Melody); seven grandchildren; Grayson Rowny, Benjamin Rowny, Jonathan Rowny (Katya), Lily Rowny, Alexander Bunnell, Nicole Schlight Santos (Jose) and Rebecca Schlight. He also leaves three great-grandchildren; Anissa Rowny, Alexi Rowny and Daniel Santos.

A memorial of Jack's life will be held at The Fairfax at Belvoir Woods, 9140 Belvoir Woods Pkwy, Ft. Belvoir, Virginia 22060 on September 30th, 2017 at 2:00 pm.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St Mary's Catholic Church, 310 S Royal St., Alexandria, Virginia 22314 on October 6th, 2017 at 10:30 am. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors on Friday October 23, 2018 at 3:00 pm.

Arrangements entrusted to Demaine Funeral Home, Alexandria, VA.

In lieu of flowers, the family ask that you make a donation to a charity of your choice.