Jack was born in Rhinelander to Omer and Una Faye (Shefstad) Pelletier, the oldest of two children. He graduated from Rhinelander High School in 1955, where he met his future wife, Phyllis Gates. He was the school's quarterback, ran the low hurdles, and played ice hockey for his school and city teams. At 17, he joined the local National Guard unit with Phyllis' father as his master sergeant. After graduation, he and a group of buddies joined various branches of the military and Jack joined the Air Force.
While serving as an air policeman, he and Phyllis continued their courtship via airmail letters. When they became engaged, the ring was sent by airmail also. They wed in Rhinelander in June 1957. Soon after, Jack was assigned to the Philippines for 18 months. Phyllis wrote him every day.
In 1960, Jack and Phyllis moved from Longview, Wa. to the Tri-Cities area, where Jack remained for the rest of his life. They had a daughter in 1963 and a son in 1965. Jack got a job as a papermaker at Boise Cascade Papermill and retired after 28 years. At age 51, Jack was diagnosed with M.S. but was able to walk until the last few years.
Jack enjoyed traveling and saw many countries through his time in the military and through vacations and cruises with his wife, as well as timeshare trips with childhood friends Del and Kitty (Payne) Sarkie. They attended most class reunions in Rhinelander and often got the award for coming the farthest.
Jack was an involved member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church. He was a Eucharistic minister, active with adoration, an usher, and a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus.
Jack died at home at age 87. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Phyllis, his daughter Michele, and son Troy, all of Kennewick, Wa. He leaves six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Raeburn Wachal.
Funeral services will be held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Kennewick on Tuesday, April 4 with Rosary at 10:30 a.m. followed by Mass at 11:30 a.m. and reception. Graveside military honors will be held at 2 p.m.
Posted: Thursday, May 4, 2023
Article comment by:
Phyllis, Al and I are so very sorry to hear the news that Jack has passed. We have such good memories of your visits with us in Florida when you were first married and also a couple of times in California. We so enjoyed our time with you while passing through Washington State and enjoying a wonderful salmon cookout. Thank you for such good memories of you both. With our love and deepest sympathy.
Posted: Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Article comment by:
Dear Phyllis and family, Please accept my condolences. Sorry to hear of your loss.
Sincerely, Ellen Hurlbutt (My maiden name is Jean)
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