John (Jack) Heily
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2/6/1929 – 7/12/2013
Jack left this world with the legacy of having established one of Washington States' premier vineyards in Yakima Washington. Heily's Vineyard chardonnay grapes were used to make Luxe™ sparkling wine (champagne) bottled by Domaine Ste. Michelle®.
Born in Butte from one of Montana's founding families, he grew up in Willow Creek near Three Forks. At the age of 17 he joined the army and was discharged from the Air Force in 1949. While in the Air Force he married Jeannie Miles his high school sweetheart in Reno on April fool's day 1948. After discharge he attended the University of Montana in Missoula to follow the family path of Law. A few years later he moved and started a family on Shane Creek near Columbus, Montana. In the mid 1960's he moved the family to the Peace River area near Fort St. John, British Columbia (mile 48 on the Alaska Highway). Here he attempted a large dryland farming operation. Cold winters drove him out of the Peace River area to Anchorage, Alaska where Jack worked as an operating engineer on the Alaska Pipeline for 15 years.
In 1986 he moved to Yakima, Wash. and started Heily's Vineyard. Jack's door was always open to family and strangers alike, always ready with a great story and a drink, great conversation and a drink, and lots of laughs. Jack always enjoyed a party and chardonnay wine. Few men could spin a story better than Jack, who lived several life times during his time on earth. Jack never forgot his roots in Willow Creek, Wise River, and Columbus, Montana, making the pilgrimage often.
He leaves behind, but not forgotten, his four children and spouses; Joe Heily and Judy Cook, Betsy Heily Arbogast, Melinda (Heily) and Don Carroll all from Auburn, Calif and Tim and Tina Heily from Naches, WA, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Memorial Services will be held on July 27, 2013 at 1:00 PM at Heily's Vineyard at 7802 Roza Hill Drive, Yakima, Wash. A reception and Heily style Irish wake will follow. Jack wanted to leave all with an Irish proverb:
May those that love us, love us. And those that don't love us may God turn their hearts. And if he doesn't turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles, so we'll know them by their limping.
Published in Gold Country Media Newspapers on July 28, 2013