Born in Fowler, California, "Jack" as we knew him, moved with his family to Hilo, Hawaii. He graduated from Hilo High in 1923 and was class president. He was life long friends with Orlando Lyman. This friendship continued throughout his life and he helped his friend Orlando enhance the Lyman Museum in Hilo with donations of minerals, Hawaiian stamps, first day covers, and other early-day family items. The museum was also the recipients of rare Hawaiian books from Jack's collection.
Jack was a consummate "collector." Minerals were his first love and throughout his lifetime he collected minerals from many world-wide locations. His award winning collection of Mammoth, St Anthony Mine, Arizona minerals were given to his good friend Arthur Flagg who founded the Arizona Mineral Museum, located on the grounds of the Phoenix State Fairgrounds. Arthur's son mentioned this recently.
Jack was one of the founding fathers of the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies and also the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies. He was CFMS President in 1948-50. He helped with the successful CFMS shows in Glendale, in 1946 and Santa Barbara in 1947. He told me he rented department store glass display cases to show individual mineral exhibits, the first in a long line of exhibits cases that eventually ended in the "standard, four ft long by two ft deep and two ft high exhibits cases that are used today. Jack and Dorothy Craig, both were interested in minerals and were in the forefront of establishing rules for exhibitors. Not content with helping with rules for exhibitors in California, Jack, along with Dorothy Craig helped establish the same rules in Arizona with the urging of Arthur Flagg. They went on to help establish the rules at the national level.
Jack was the chairman of the 3rd Annual AFMS in Sacramento, CA. In 1950 he served as AFMS President at the 4th Annual meeting in Milwaukee, WI. Jack never lost his interest in minerals and through the years combined trips world-wide with collecting minerals from faraway places. He also had an interest in people, and was constantly drumming up interest in the hobby.
When I contacted Jack regarding any old memorabilia he might have to donate to the AFMS Historical Records, he came through with the ribbon and badge he wore at the first AFMS Convention in Denver, Colorado in 1947. He also had early programs, pictures and banquet programs.
He gave me a very early picture of himself, along with another gentleman, both with white long-sleeved shirts rolled up, and dress pants, down in a prospect hole in Montana, Wyoming. I don't know if Jack ever wore levis, I always saw him impeccably dressed….
Jacks programs on the Hawaiian Islands and in particular, the volcanoes, were a delight to all who had the privilege of viewing it. Jack was also a story-teller of the early days and I have several tapes of early CFMS and AFMS History thanks to Jack. Jack was also a collector of rare books and had an extensive collection of mineral and geological books. He later disposed of these when he moved to Pacific Beach.
I have a wonderful collection of early memorabilia from AFMS Conventions, thanks to Jack. I contacted him when I became Historian, because our files had been destroyed. He came through with many early items he still had in his personal collection and donated them all. One was a picture of people on the beach at an Indian salmon barbeque, during the 4th AFMS Convention in Tacoma, WA. Jack and Johnny Short, another CFMS and AFMS Past President from California always tried to attend the national shows. Jack, along with Johnny Short were honorees at the AFMS's 50th Anniversary Banquet in Jackson, MS, in 1997.
Jack was named a "Golden Bear", the highest award given to someone who has given services above and beyond the norm to the CFMS. Jack's came late, it was awarded in 2002 at Placerville, CA at the CFMS Annual Show and Convention. Jack was unable to attend the banquet, and he received his award at the SDMG meeting shortly after that. Jack's remark was, "It's about time!"
Jack was a one-of-a-kind. We loose the oldest Past President of both the CFMS and AFMS. In passing we realize that we have lost something of immense value. His friendship and his knowledge. Neither can be replaced.
Jack (John G.) Streeter died November 7th 2003, two weeks before his 100th birthday.
Goodbye old friend,