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Irving empire loses Jack, age 78

New Brunswick business magnate John E. (Jack) Irving, who helped expandhis family’s empire by leading several construction and engineeringcompanies, has died. He was 78.

New Brunswick business magnate John E. (Jack) Irving, who helped expand his family’s empire by leading several construction and engineering companies, has died. He was 78.

“It’s a sad loss to our region today,” said Nancy Conrad, senior vice-president with the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

“The Irving family have been strong contributors to the economic well-being of the region and in particular to the local shipbuilding industry with the Irving Shipyards in Halifax.”

Irving, the son of Irving Oil founder K.C. Irving, died yesterday in his hometown of Saint John following a brief illness.

In 1952, at his father’s request, he joined his family’s businesses where he worked alongside his brother Arthur at Irving Oil. He began managing construction and engineering projects, including retail outlets, bulk plants, and other major infrastructure.

Working with Arthur and his other brother James, Jack helped build upon the legacy of their father to expand and develop the Irving Group of companies into a worldwide corporation.

He is survived by his wife, three children and six grandchildren.

A funeral will be held Saturday in Saint John.