by Joe Capozzi
A CELEBRATION HONORING the wonderful life of the late “Jack the Bike Man’’ wouldn’t be complete without a few bicycles, even if it is being held at a funeral home.
“We will have the place decorated with bicycles,’’ said Mariano Garcia, who’s helping organize the public send-off in West Palm Beach for his friend Samuel H. “Jack” Hairston III, the beloved community fixture better known as “Jack the Bike Man,’’ the charity he founded nearly 25 years ago.
Mr. Hairston, who died July 7 at the age of 81, will be honored Tuesday, Sept. 19 at a celebration of life ceremony at Quattlebaum Funeral, Cremation and Event Center in West Palm Beach. The ceremony from 5 to 8 p.m. will be held in a building on the north end of Hillcrest Memorial Park at 6411 Parker Ave.
The date was selected because it would have been his 82nd birthday.
“It’s going to be a chance for anyone in the community to come and pay their respects,’’ said Alex Hernandez, executive director of Jack The Bike Man.
Tears will be shed, but the occasion promises an upbeat vibe, which is exactly what the amiable “Jack,” who always brought smiles and laughter to visitors of his popular bike shop, would want.
A photo montage of Mr. Hairston will rotate across TV screens while his favorite oldies rock music is played. Tchotchkes he collected from his many trips to Guatemala will be on display. Soft drinks and snacks will be served, including his favorite pastries from Tulipan Bakery.
And in keeping with the passion Mr. Hairston pedaled into his self-named nonprofit, there will be bicycles — including the Trek hybrid he liked to ride.
“We are going to have a nice foam board with his pictures on it leaning up against the bicycle he used,’’ said Garcia, an attorney who serves on the Jack the Bike Man advisory board. “Jack had two or three bikes that he would use and they will be on display.’’
To read the rest of this article please click here: Saying goodbye to the late ‘Jack the Bike Man’