Eugene Bryant “Jack” Jackson passed away on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, at the age of 85.
He was one of 10 children born to Bryant and Helen Jackson. Eugene was brought into this world on March 26, 1930, in Lockhart, Minn., where he resided until enlisting in the United States Air Force in October of 1947. He served as an aircraft engine mechanic in the Korean War, reaching the rank of staff sergeant before his honorable discharge of 1953.
During his time in the service, he met and married his first wife, Betty Ruth Fye, in 1952. They had four children together: Debra, Tess, Mike, and Craig.
In 1956, while his wife attended nursing school in Nebraska, Eugene traveled to Chicago, Ill., to receive his certification in diesel mechanics.In 1959, Eugene and his family relocated to Meeker, where he ran a Chevron service station. In 1969, he opened his own automotive repair shop, Jack’s Automotive. For 32 years, Eugene owned and operated this business until his youngest son, Craig, purchased it from him, allowing him to seek out his much deserved retirement.
After the untimely death of his first wife in 1988, Eugene met his second love, Betty Hargrave. They married on June 19, 1989. Betty’s children, Jim and Merry Essex, were happy to welcome Eugene and his four children into their lives. Eugene and Betty (“BJ”) enjoyed a good portion of their retirement in Battlement Mesa, Colo., until they moved to Fruita, Colo.
Eugene had an enthusiasm for motorcycles, fishing and traveling. One of his favorite pastimes was playing card games, particularly rummy. He had a musical heart and was always heard humming and whistling the melodies of his favorite songs. At a young age, he acquired the nickname “Bunky” from his fellow classmates because he was always “full of it.” He will always be remembered for his witty sense of humor and his light-hearted spirit. Eugene lived a long, full, accomplished and happy life. He will be deeply missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. Goodbye Jack, we love you dearly.
Eugene is survived by: his wife of 26 years, Betty “BJ” Jackson; children Debra Hubscher, Tess Keune, Craig Jackson, Jim Essex and Merry Essex; 15 grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren; his brother, Sid Jackson; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by: his first wife, Betty Ruth Fye; his eldest son, Michael Eugene Jackson; his parents, Bryant and Helen Jackson; and his siblings, Jim, Helen, Marge, June, Laurel, Joyce and Jon.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the family will be accepted at 466 Annabelle Court, Fruita, Colo. 81521. A celebration of life was held Feb. 19, 2016, at Highland Cemetery in Meeker, Colo., where he was interred.