Jack of all trades brings joy to OLV students

ARBUTUS – Jack Pundt can do it all.

In his 27th year as the facilities manager at Our Lady of Victory Catholic School, Pundt is literally a “Jack of all trades.”

“Jack Pundt makes things appear,” said Lois Gorman, the OLV principal. “We came back from Thanksgiving break, and there was a working train display in our lobby. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I can ask him to do anything, and he’ll do it.”

Pundt’s passion for the job dates to the 1960s. Like his two grown sons, he attended OLV School. He began working there even before he entered Mount St. Joseph High School, where he was in the class of 1971.

“My uncle Joe (DeBoy) had the job I’m doing now,” Pundt said. “I had my first job here (OLV) when I was 11 – working Saturdays for $1 per hour. I worked for him.”

His passions include being a toy locomotive hobbyist, one with 19 sets of trains.

“I’ve got this thing about trains,” he said.

One of those sets is in the school lobby, a display Pundt put together while students were on Thanksgiving break.

“I worked on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” he explained.

His personal train set collection has become an Advent tradition at OLV, putting students in the Christmas spirit.

“It’s always the same (student’s) initial reaction,” he said. “It’s just a lot smiles and a lot of excitement.”

Pundt has been on the alumni board at Mount St. Joseph for more than 22 years, and claims St. Joseph, the patron of woodworkers, as his favorite saint.

“Everything I do is based on being Catholic, Pundt said. “I love working with wood. I had a lot of St. Joseph ingrained in me when I went to Mount St. Joseph.”

During Lent, the principal asked Pundt if he could build a cross as a part of a school program to help support “Kids Helping Hopkins,” which benefits the John Hopkins Children Center. He responded by building a wooden cross almost 6-feet-tall.

“All of the students, faculty and staff, we all put our fingerprints on the cross,” Gorman said.

“And that’s hung up in my office right now. He really takes a lot of pride in the work that he does. He is meticulous.

”Pundt also works at the parish level on weekends. The project he is most proud of was framing the original Stations of the Cross inside the church, which took nearly two months to complete.

“I just love being here,” he said. “I love doing this stuff for the church and for the school.”

Gorman praised Pundt’s work ethic, which she said is a perfect example of faith in action.
“When I think about being Catholic, myself, it’s about providing a service,” Gorman said. “And Jack is someone who provides a service, and doesn’t need or ask for any recognition.”

His service is especially appreciated by OLV students this time of year.

“You try to make it a place they are happy to come into,” Pundt said “It’s not the same old every day.”

Email Rico De Silva at rdesilva@CatholicReview.org