In Loving Memory of:

 

 

                                      John Wallace Sackett Jr.

                                       

  Oct  1, 1945 - May 24, 2011

 

 

 

Published:
Wednesday, June 1, 2011 4:32 PM MDT
This is the end of the story of a life lived well. John W. Sackett Jr. died Tuesday, May 24, 2011, while bottle-feeding his lambs in his barn down on Louse Creek near Moccasin.

His story began on Oct. 1, 1945, when John was born to his parents, John Wallace Sackett and Lucy Rose Skaggs Sackett. His mother remarked that the reason Johnny was so mature even as an infant was because his first playmates were his Uncle Oscar Sackett, who was in his 60s, and his father, who was in his 50s. Old values, ideas and ideals were instilled in John from the beginning. Johnís role as Big Brother, for which he was particularly well suited, began Sept. 18, 1947, when James Arthur Sackett arrived, and continued when Nancy Jane Sackett tagged along in 1957. John was a leader and he lead by example. His Big Brother role extended not just to his siblings, but to neighbor kids and college friends as well. His advice was well thought out and freely given, but always with your best interest at heart.

John graduated from Moccasin High School in 1963 in the top third of his class. There may be two kids in his class smarter than he was but they had to give speeches at graduation and John didnít. John began his college education at Eastern Montana College in Billings, studying civil engineering, but didnít enjoy it like he thought he would. He continued his education by attending and graduating from Billings Business College, along with his brother Jim, after receiving advice from their father that it wouldnít hurt anyone to know something about business. Then he decided to volunteer for the draft. Just his luck, while others from the area that went through Army basic training with him were sent to Germany, Johnís tour was to scenic tropical Vietnam. He finished his military service at Fort Bragg, N.C., at the rank of Sp. 4.

John then attended Montana Tech in Butte, graduating cum laude with a degree in geology in 1972. He began his career with the Forest Service working in Lolo, Mont. John transferred with the Forest Service to Stanford after the death of his mother in 1972 and the death of his brother in 1973 in order to assume the duties of raising a teenage sister and to care for his father until the time of his fatherís death in 1975. He once again attended Montana Tech and received a degree in Mining Engineering. John continued his career at the mines around Silver City, N.M. Then he moved to El Paso, Texas, where he owned a bar. After selling the bar he moved in 1983 to Saratoga, Wyo., and worked for the BLM as a mine inspector out of the Rawlins, Wyo., office. After the mines all closed he continued to work for the BLM but as a civil engineer so he could get out of the office. As the computer age advanced and, as he put it, they expected the engineers to be secretaries, he took an early retirement in 1998 and moved back to the farm at Moccasin where he was raised. That first year of retirement was a rough one as the area had changed so much from when he last lived here. Dickís Service Station was no longer there and people no longer stopped in at the local grain elevator for confabs. Soon he found his favorite places to stop in Lewistown, Eddies Corner, Hobson, Stanford, Geyser and Belt to visit with old friends and to make new ones. John brought chickens and sheep back to the farm and also continued his tree-planting project that he started in 1973. If every tree he ever planted had grown, then the farm would look like a national forest by now, but alas itís just his luck that trees donít grow in the Moccasin area.


Survivors include two sons that he was very proud of, George and Mike Ramirez of El Paso, Texas; his sister, Nancy Sackett of Lewistown; Aunt Helen Boettger of Lewistown; cousins, kin and friends too numerous to mention.

Graveside services with military honors will be held at the Moccasin Cemetery on Saturday, June 4 at 10:30 a.m. A reception will follow at the Judith River Senior Center at Hobson.

Creel Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.