November 22, 1939 – October 27, 2020
Jackie (Jack) Allen Betz, 80, of Parkman, Wyoming, died Tuesday October 27, 2020, at his residence with his family by his side.
Jack was born on November 22, 1939 in Black River Falls, WI (Jackson County), to parents Harold and Helen (Kalstad) Betz. After graduating high school, Jack joined the United States Air Force and served his country for four years as a diesel mechanic. The highlight of his Air Force career was his assignment to Air Force One under President Dwight Eisenhower. After his Honorable discharge from the Air Force, he married Kathleen Yvonne Cartwright on October 3, 1962 in Elk Mound, Wisconsin; they just recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary. Jack’s early career involved working with his father, Harold, in his business, Betz Bulldozing. Jack later purchased the company from his father and continued that business for 10 additional years before moving west. While building their business, Jack and Kathy were raising three daughters.
Jack was an avid hunter and fell in love with the west, after hunting trips at his uncle’s ranch in Clearmont, Wyoming and knew he wanted to move his family to Wyoming. In 1981, Jack and Kathy began their western adventure moving their family to Chadron, Nebraska while Jack was working construction for Big K. The family stayed in Nebraska a year, before finally settling in Parkman, Wyoming at the base of the Big Horn Mountains. Jack’s career consisted of traveling the western United States working road construction jobs. Jack was considered one of the best finish grade operators around and worked on many high-profile jobs in Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Washington, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and California. His career highlight was the State of South Dakota’s Achievement Award for his finish work developing the new road through the Black Hills into Hill City, South Dakota. One other highlight of Jack’s career was working at Mount Rushmore, and he considered that an honor. He retired from his career from Oftedal Construction Company, however, they heavily recruited him to return to work twice, before he finally retired in 2010.
When Jack was not working, he could be found spending his time in the Big Horn Mountains. He was a passionate outdoorsman; snowmobiling, camping, hunting, jeeping, 4-wheeling, cutting firewood and enjoying family. In their retirement, Jack and Kathy, would spend their summers at their favorite camping spots in the Big Horn Mountains. They enjoyed spending the time on the mountains with family around the campfire and watching for wildlife to pass by their camp. In the fall, Jack could be found; with his son-in-law, Allen Nixon and his grandson Casey Caywood by his side hunting for deer and elk. They had many successful hunts in the mountains together. One of his favorite hunting stories was when he had the Jeep loaded with 5 elk, helping his fellow hunters get them out of the Broadrick flats in the Kerns Elk Refuge. Jack loved his Jeep Scrambler and sharing it with his grandchildren; every spring it was an adventure to see how much snow the Jeep could get through and he shared this passion with his family. The grandkids could be found in the back of the Jeep as he was getting stuck in the snow and playing in Columbus Creek on their adventures.
Survivors include his wife, Kathleen, of Parkman; three daughters, Brenda (Allen) Nixon of Parkman, WY, Julie (Wayne) Paul of Homeland, California, and Jenny (Billy) Bolt of Missoula, Montana; six grandchildren, Nicole (Ryan) Alley, Samantha (Chris) Gilbert, Jackie Nixon, Jessica (Josiah) Gillan, Kimberley Caywood and Casey Caywood; seven great-grandchildren, Cole and Natalie Gilbert, Khole Nixon, Jecole Gillan, Phoebe Nixon, Jacob and Maximus Alley. He is preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Helen Betz, and his siblings, Phillis Babcock, Kathryn Keech, James Betz and Larry Betz.
A private family service will be held in the summer of 2021. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations be sent to the Dayton Volunteer Fire Department or the Tongue River Valley Community Center.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.