May 25, 2018

Hackl’s generosity led to endowments to assist archdiocese, St. Luke School

Hailed for his generosity to the archdiocese and his love of God and family, Albert James “Jim” Hackl died on May 12. He was 92.

“The Catholic Community Foundation is deeply saddened by the loss of our friend, Jim,” noted Elisa Smith, director of the archdiocese’s Catholic Community Foundation. “He was a thoughtful and positive person who loved God and his family, and who lived a life of joy and gratitude.”

Hackl also lived a life of generosity, Smith said, referring to the endowment funds that he and his wife of 67 years, Christine, established.

One of the Hackl family endowment funds was created to provide food, shelter, clothing and medical care for the poor and vulnerable. Another supports needs directly associated with Catholic education, pro-life education, the formation of pastoral leaders, and priestly and pastoral retirement.

A third endowment provides continuing support to St. Luke Catholic School in Indianapolis.

“The impact created from these endowment funds has made and continues to make a difference in so many lives throughout the Catholic community of central and southern Indiana,” Smith said. “From social justice to Catholic education, he truly saw the face of Christ in everyone.”

Hackl served as president and chief executive officer of the Herff Jones Company in Indianapolis from 1968 to 1995. During his tenure as the head of the company, the manufacturer of class rings and other scholastic-related products achieved significant growth.

A member of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis, Hackl served as the co-chairman of the building committee for the construction of a new church sanctuary in 1981. His Mass of Christian Burial took place there, celebrated by Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel, St. Luke’s pastor.

“I said at the funeral, ‘It’s not very often that a man is buried from a church that he built,’ ” Msgr. Schaedel recalled about Hackl, a veteran of the Korean War. “He was extremely generous to the archdiocese and to St. Luke. He was just a gentle giant. He was very humble, very unassuming and steady like a rock. We’re really going to miss him.”

Besides his wife Christine, he is survived by their eight children, Elizabeth Brainard, Ellen Fagan, Dorothy Reiser, Martha Smith, Christine Walsh, and Frederick, Robert and Albert Hackl Jr. Survivors also include 31 grandchildren and 15 great‑grandchildren.

Contributions in his memory may be made to Marquette Manor or the Little Sisters of the Poor. †

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