Jack Shotwell passed away peacefully on Jan. 3, 2014. He was born on June 2, 1925, to Bert Clamet Shotwell and Emilie Marie Schoessler Shotwell in Forsyth, Mont. He spent his early years at the family ranch on Chromo Creek near Colstrip until 1936 when the family moved to Forsyth, where he graduated from Forsyth High School in 1943. He enlisted in the Army
Air Force on Sept. 15, 1943, and served in World War II
in the 15th Fighter Command as a ball turret gunner on a B-17 aircraft, stationed in Italy and completing 16 missions over central Europe. He was honorably discharged at the rank of staff sergeant on Dec. 16, 1945.
After returning to civilian life he married Patricia (Patty) Maxine Lundahl on July 17, 1949. They had three children, Bonnie Lee, Alan Ward, and Colleen Emilie. He earned his Master Plumber's license and worked in Laurel, Broadus, and Billings until his retirement. After retirement he enjoyed spending time with his family, particularly his grandchildren and great-granddaughters, and all the kids in his extended family loved to hang around "Uncle Jack." He really enjoyed riding shotgun with Joe down to Vegas to visit his brother. He loved gardening and sharing his tomatoes and cucumbers and iris. When his neighbors needed a hand with a project, they came to "Handyman Jack," and he was always glad to lend a hand. His love of animals was second only to his love of family. He was a gentle soul who had a sly sense of humor we all enjoyed.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Bert and Emilie; his wife, Patty; his son, Alan; his brother-in-law, John Matz; sister-in-law, Irene Shotwell O'Hara; sister-in-law, Joyce Shotwell; and brother-in-law, Don Lundahl; his niece, Sandy Henry and her husband, George Henry, and trucking buddy and nephew-in-law, Joe Anderson.
Jack is survived by his daughter, Bonnie Lee and her husband, Phil Smith of Bozeman, their son, Adam Smith and spouse, Ture Turnbull of Boston, son, Matthew Smith and his wife, Stacy, and their children, Caydence and Macy of Belgrade; daughter, Colleen and her husband, John Rickard of Billings, their daughter, Kelly Rickard of Billings, their son, Patrick Rickard and his wife, Tiffany and their daughter, Trinity of Tacoma, Wash.; daughter-in-law, Ann Shotwell Kincaid, daughter, Meghan Kincaid and her brother, Hunter Kincaid; brother, Dick Shotwell of Billings; sister, Bonnie and her husband, Jack Marquis of Encinitas, Calif.; sister, Pat Matz of Forsyth; and brother, Bob Shotwell and his wife, Mavis of Billings; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, family members and friends, all of whom brought him joy.
Dad's last months were brightened by Diana, Jennifer and her children, Michael, Kenny, and Brooklyn (and their little dogs too!), who shared their family life with Dad and enlivened his days. He was honored to be invited to "Bring a Veteran to School" day by Michael and to share his World War II experiences with him. He always enjoyed hearing about Kenny's baseball games and watching Brooklyn's favorite cartoons with her.
We would especially like to thank Dad's caregivers, Tammy Henry Sanchez, Vickie Escobedo, Jennifer Fenton, Sammie Fenton, Carol Fenton, Don Cortez, and Laci Anderson, who cared so much for him and made it possible for him to stay in the home he loved.
Dad always did his best. He never asked for much but was generous to a fault. He was our rock, supporting us in the tough times as well as sharing all of our joys. He was deeply loved by his family and friends, and we will miss him.
The family will greet friends for visitations between 5 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9 at Smith West Chapel, 304 34th Street West. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. on Friday at the Smith West Chapel with interment at 2 p.m. on Friday at the Forsyth Cemetery.