John “Jack” Albert Halander died June 19, 2020 at the age of 91, in West Jordan, Utah, due to natural causes incident to old age. Jack was born March 22, 1929 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of Albert John Halander and Hortense Henretta Syndergaard Halander. Jack married Helen LaRae Birch on March 1, 1960 in Fullerton, California. The couple had two children, Jennifer and Eric, and celebrated 52 years of marriage before Helen’s death in 2012.
Jack attended East High School in Salt Lake City, class of 1947, where he was active in tennis, cheerleading, track, and skiing. After graduating, Jack entered the United States Navy Reserve and attended the University of Utah, where he continued his participation in track and cheerleading. In November of 1950, Jack was discharged from the Navy as he was drafted into the United States Army to serve in the infantry in the Korean War. He served one year overseas in Korea, and was honorably discharged at the rank of Corporal. Corporal Halander was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service in connection with military operations against an armed enemy in Korea for serving as Supply Sergeant and performing his duties in a superior manner. His medal citation indicated that his “outstanding skill, initiative, and untiring devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself and the military service.”
When he returned to civilian life, Jack went to New York City to pursue his artistic passions as a student at the New York School of Interior Design. Upon graduating, he returned to Salt Lake City to work in furniture sales and interior design consulting for the next 40 years. He worked for many years at both Forsey’s Furniture and Desks Incorporated, both of Salt Lake City. Jack was an active member of the National Society of Interior Designers and the Interior Design Society, and held several local and national offices in those organizations. Jack’s passion for interior design lasted until the day he died. Upon entering any room, he began to think about how best to rearrange the furniture and artwork, and even at 91-years-old he was always moving furniture around.
Jack’s life was spent living in and enjoying Utah, all within 20 miles of his birth place. Be it through his family, interests, art, his career, sports, and his lifelong adventures. To him, nothing beat the view of the Wasatch Mountains, and his inspiration to see them through his and others eyes.
Jack is survived by his daughter Jennifer Karren; son Eric Halander (Laura); brother Robert Halander (Jennie); grandchildren Rachel Anderson (Brent), Anna Freudenberger (Jordan), Kiley Halander, and McKenna Halander; and great-grandchildren Elizabeth and Jane Anderson and Paisley and Aspen Freudenberger. He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Helen; and his son-in-law, Corey Karren. Memorial services will be arranged at a later date.