Jack Darrell McKechnie, 78, passed away 5/7/13 at his home of natural causes. Jack was born 4/23/35 in Cloquet, Minnesota to Ray and Diana McKechnie. Jacks grandparents and parents moved to Palmer before Jack's first birthday as part of the colonization of the Valley.
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Jack grew up in the area and graduated Palmer High in 1953. In his senior year Jack was a quarter back on the very first high school football team in the state where he played along with numerous other notorious Valley names. They played games that were organized against military teams from Anchorage. He attended UAF, worked numerous jobs until he settled on a career with the USGS. Jack worked there many years as a Hydrologist until his retirement. His career put him in nearly every corner of the state surveying waterways as a premier boatman and river runner. Jack's career consisted in part with building trams, running boats or flying in with some legendary bush pilots by which they monitored and serviced the numerous gaging stations throughout the state. We are pretty sure collecting and processing all the data wasn't his favorite part. In 1974 Jack was awarded a Citation of Valor by the head of the Dept. of the Interior in Washington D.C. for "Courageous Acton" in trying to save a co-workers life. Jacks stories of his endeavors, were quite interesting and plentiful. His career also folded into his passions for hunting, fishing, rock hounding, and just being outdoors in general. Jack was truly a rugged Alaskan with a keen sense of humor and infectious laugh. Jack and his wife Sue lived in Anchorage during their lives of raising children. They eventually retired to Palmer in the Butte area close to the original family farm where they lived out their lives enjoying each other's company along with family and friends. Jack was a member of the Palmer Moose Lodge, Palmer Elks Lodge, and the Pioneers of Alaska.
Jack is survived by brother Russ (Cheryl) Mckechnie; sister-in-law Sharon Mckechnie; sons Darrell (Maresa) McAllister, Marty (Brandi) Seiler; daughters, Linda Seiler, Cindy (Gordy) Richmond, Liz Whaley, Dale Ann (Eric) Gates; 15 grand children and 10 great grand children all of Alaska; aunt Helen Jarivinen; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins both in Alaska and outside.
Jack is preceded in death by his parents Ray and Dianna; wife Sue; brothers, Jerry and Dennis and a whole lot of others he cared for.
Jack requested his ashes to be spread on the Butte along with his fathers. A celebration of life will be held at the Palmer Moose Lodge on June 15th 2 p.m.
Published in adn.com from May 15 to May 16, 2013