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Jack A. Shires

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Jack A. Shires Obituary
FREER - Jack A. Shires, 97, a well known and well liked citizen of Freer, Texas died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 after a brief illness. He loved Elizabeth, his wife of thirty happy years (now deceased), and looked forward to joining her in heaven. He was a kind and wise father to his children: daughter Mary (Bi) and husband Ben Placencio and Jack and wife Terry (both deceased) Summy. He was a grandfather who delighted in and was delighted by his five grandchildren: Angelique Vega, Kelly and husband Billy Madden, Raphael Vega, Scott and wife Dora Summy and Suzanne Vega and his eleven great grandchildren and five great great grandchildren. Jack enjoyed years of wonderful friendship with dear friends Cris Lichtenberger, Rufel Serna and Bo McAnear and the many friendships made in Freer.

Jack was born in Dennison, Texas during the Great Depression, joined the United States Army at age eighteen, was awarded two Purple Hearts, one Silver Star and a battlefield commission to Lieutenant at age nineteen. He proudly served as a paratrooper during World War II in the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 11th Airborne Division. He guarded the Panama Canal, combat jumped at the Battle of Manila and helped free over 2,000 POWs from the Japanese internment camp at the Raid at Los Banos. He later led the occupation of Aomori, Japan after the war.

Jack moved to Freer, Texas where he drilled Freer's first oil pump jack which still pumps outside of the Liberty Cafe where he was a faithful customer for thirty eight years and was treated just like family. He worked daily at his office in downtown Freer up until recently.

Jack was Freer Citizen of the Year in both 1972 and 2012. He graduated from University of Texas in Austin and was a Longhorn forever. Jack was a true blue and gold Freer citizen: served as President of the board of trustees of Freer Independent School District, Buckaroos Booster club member (who contributed again in his last days) who also filmed all the football games years ago, and contributed to many civic projects: Freer community Crime Stoppers, Sheriff's Association member, VFW member and privately helped countless people in Freer.

Jack loved Freer and the town's many stories. He'd smile and ask, "Have I told you this story before? Now, don't tell me if I did, cause I like to tell it!" And, he'd always advise: "Eat dessert first, life is uncertain."

The Shires family has entrusted arrangements to the Garza Funeral Home in Freer. Graveside service will be held this Monday morning at 9:00am, September 3rd, at Hall Memorial Cemetery with Brother Mike Harrington officiating, and followed by gathering of family and close friends in Freer.

Anyone wishing to leave condolences for the family may do so at www.garzafuneralhome.com

Arrangements entrusted to Garza Funeral Home, Freer, Texas 361-394-6161.
Published in Alice Echo News-Journal from Aug. 30 to Sept. 6, 2018
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