VIDA, OR Jack Shekell, 94, passed away Monday, February 18, 2013, at the McKenzie River home he shared for decades with his beloved wife, Sue. Jack was born December 17, 1918, in Washington, D.C. to William and Alice Shekell. He graduated from Central High School and, later, from the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College, where he eventually served as assistant commandant. His four years' active duty included action in the Philippines and New Guinea during World War II. He married Sue Evonuk on March 18, 1944, and after his discharge from the Army, moved with her to Eugene, Ore., where he embarked on his 28-year career with IBM. Promotions and children followed before the family eventually settled in Greenbrae, Calif. Following 33 years in the Army Reserve, Jack retired as a full Colonel. After he retired from IBM in 1975, he and Sue moved to six acres on the McKenzie River at Vida, where Jack took up his new life as a filbert farmer. He was active in Neighborhood Watch at St. Benedict Lodge Catholic Church in McKenzie Bridge, and served as a volunteer fireman. A train lover, he was a lifetime member of the Western Railway Museum in Suisun City, Calif. Jack collected friends as easily as some collect stamps and he was well known as a mentor and story-teller. He is survived by his wife, Sue; sons, Ken (Gini) of Vida, Ore., Steve of Ashland, Ore., Dave of Vida, and Marty (Loren) of Everett, Wash.; a daughter, Peggy Tims (Dana) of Portland, Ore.; and a sister, Mary Jane Staub of Hanover. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Jeannie Hinkley. He will also be dearly missed by eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and 25 nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held March 18 at 1 p.m. at St. Benedict Lodge Catholic Church in McKenzie Bridge. Private inurnment at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland will follow at a later date. Donations, in lieu of flowers, can be sent in Jack's name to the Western Railway Museum, 5848 State Highway 12, Suisun City, CA, 94585.
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Published in Evening Sun on Mar. 2, 2013