Jack Wright

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Jack Wright, 90, passed away Saturday, May 26, 2018, after a brief illness. Jack was born July 30, 1927, to Homer and Elsie Wright. He grew up with his brother Guy and sister Beth on the family farm south of Kolin and graduated high school from Moccasin. Jack served in the Army and returned to the farm after his discharge.

In 1957, Jack married Arlene Gipe, the woman he would adore for the next 60 years. Their son Dean was born in 1958.

All who knew Jack would agree he lived his life with honor, integrity and generosity. Learning to play piano and clarinet at an early age, music became his passion, and he greatly enjoyed sharing that passion with the community. He played the clarinet in the Fraternal Order of Eagles band and played piano for dances with countless local musicians over the years, at one time forming the 3 J’s band with Jerry and Dale Bussey. Jack entertained at numerous school and social community events, and knew songs by heart that spanned five or six decades.

The automobile was also a big part of Jack’s life. He learned mechanics very early in life, and worked for a while as a mechanic and body man at the Ford garage in Lewistown. He became interested in antique and classic car restoration, and completed first a Model T restoration, then a 1956 Chevy convertible, and later a 1957 Apache pickup. He purchased a new Chevy Cheyenne pickup in 1972, and, although it was a “work truck,” he kept it in pristine condition for the next 45 years. Jack often referenced the vehicle he was driving at the time when reminiscing about events in his life, and his recollections of even the smallest details from 50 years past was remarkable.

Jack served on the Kolin school board, and drove the school bus for Hobson for 26 years. He loved kids and took many under his wing over the years. He was a mentor to several during their high school years, and taught many of his automotive skills to them, as well as instilling in them his sense of pride in their work and the value of a life lived with respect and generosity. He became viewed as a role model by many young men, and passed on to them countless stories of his life and history of the Kolin community.

Jack was also very proud of his farm and livestock. Together with his wife Arlene, he kept the farmstead neat and attractive, and always organized. His roots ran very deep into the ground that supported him for his lifetime, and it was a difficult decision when the time came for them to retire and move to Lewistown. No matter where he lived, home would always be the fields and pastures south of Kolin.

Jack is survived by his wife Arlene of Lewistown and son Dean of Billings, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was a member of the American Legion, Central Montana Trail Dusters, the Masons and a lifetime member of the Eagles. At Jack’s request, no services are planned.

With sadness, we bid farewell to a great friend and true gentleman. “We’ll Meet Again, Some Sunny Day,” Jack…key of “F”….

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