USA Curling mourns the loss of Jack McNelly

By David Garber | March 19, 2020, 3:25 p.m. (ET)

A major figure in the growth and success of curling in the USA, Jack McNelly, 70, died March 15 of a heart attack at his home in Monument, Colorado.

Jack’s goal was “to live life to the fullest.” He radiated a natural sense of adventure, positive thinking and ability to enjoy the day. He was a great resource and support for all his friends, family, the USCA and world of curling. Peggy Hatch, USCA President during the 2001-2002 Olympic season and former WCF Representative, sums it up, "Jack McNelly was key to curling becoming an Olympic sport; his contribution cannot be overstated. He was a wonderful ambassador for curling and will be missed by so many.”

Jack was a long-time director of the United States Curling Association. He was USCA president in the 2002-2003 season. He served as U.S. Olympic Curling Team Leader in 2002 and 2006, and was for many years curling’s representative or alternate representative to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

As a competitor, Jack skipped the 1990 and 1997 USCA Mixed National Champion teams. He was a member of the 1983 USCA Men’s National Champion team skipped by Don Cooper.

In the 1970’s, Jack went west from his childhood home Perham, Minnesota, the “go west young man” path taken by his late brother, Bill. Both Bill and Jack founded construction companies in the Colorado Springs area—Jack’s was McNelly Construction. Both brothers served as U.S. Olympic Team Leaders and U.S. Olympic Committee board members. Jack was a member of the Broadmoor Curling Club during the years the club had three dedicated sheets at the old Broadmoor World Arena.

Outside of curling and his business, Jack was a highly skilled outdoorsman, enjoying fishing, elk hunting, and horsemanship. Jack was a kind person and a good friend.

Jack is survived by his wife, Lynn, his daughter, and his horses and dogs.

No services will be held at this time.

The family encourages Jack’s friends, if so inclined, to make memorial donations in Jack’s honor to the USCA or to their local curling club.