OBITUARY: Jack Edward Robertson

Jack Robertson

August 17, 1952 ~ January 16, 2021

Jack Edward Robertson, 68, Willowcreek, Oregon, died at home peacefully on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.

Jack was born in Ontario, Oregon, on August 17, 1952, to Wilmer and Doris (McGourty) Robertson of Willowcreek. Jack attended Willowcreek Elementary and graduated from Vale High School in 1971. Jack worked on the family ranch throughout his childhood. He had a passion for basketball and by high school earned the nickname “Jumpin Jack.” After high school he continued the enjoyment of the sport by refereeing basketball for over 22 years.

After a few years of college at TVCC and Eastern Oregon, Jack farmed on his own, but found more success with cattle. He worked with Hancock Livestock, Vale Livestock, Weiser Livestock, and then joined Producers Livestock Marketing Association in Vale. In 1981, Jack met Marliss Paine from the Caldwell area, where she was teaching in Nampa. They were soon married and Marliss continued with a teaching career in Oregon. Jack continued working with cattle, refereeing, building relationships with ranchers, and then added a new passion of raising four sons, Andrew, Levi, Cody, and Matthew. 

There were so many joyful days and years with his boys – gopher trapping, sports, hunting, fishing, and vacations. He never forgot the trip to the Mariners game, the coast trip when Levi “caught” a crab on his thumb, Disneyland and San Diego. Jack continued to have so much pride in his boys. There were some tough years with them too, when we all swore the epitaph on his tombstone should be the nightly question we heard him say over the phone to one son or the other, “WHERE YOU AT?” Jack’s hair turned completely gray at 36, which was before their teenage years, so we can’t blame the graying on them, but having three teenage sons at one time was not a breeze for this family. Life did settle down as the years went on. Jack always had a dog by his side, which has become a natural for his sons, too.

But the greatest joy Jack experienced later in life was his grandchildren, Miranda, Mason, and Mikiah. He just couldn’t get enough of the visits and outings with Miranda and Mason. They were the light of his life, and were with him at the time of his death.

Marliss and Jack had been married almost 40 years. Along with being blessed by his children and grandchildren, Jack felt blessed by the relationships he had through Producers Livestock Association. Jack was manager at Producers for 22 years. It could be tough work, and Jack could often be thought of as tough, too. But, he was an honest company man, and at the end of the day he felt good about the way he did business for the company. Marliss and Jack had years of enjoyable trips with company friends to New Orleans, Charleston, Nashville, Phoenix, Maui…

Just last week, Jack attended a Vale Producers sale after being absent for many months during COVID restrictions and months of declining health. He was thrilled to reconnect with so many people he had missed seeing and he thanks everyone for the kind greetings he was given. Jack was also so appreciative of many daily phone conversations. How else would he have been able to keep up with all the gossip?

Jack experienced so much positive throughout his life. Family, faith, and friends were his strength, but what he was not able to overcome was diabetes. Jack had been a Type I diabetic for 47 years which took its toll on his system daily, most directly his heart. Jack received outstanding care through Nani Cabrera, Karl Undesser, Mark Parent, and their staff.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents; Doris and Wilmer Robertson; parents-in-law Marlin and LaVonne Paine; brothers-in-law Larry Smith, Hal King, Rick Blosch. Jack is survived by his wife, Marliss and sons, Andy, Levi (Casey Miles), Cody, and Matt; three grandchildren Mikiah Hopkins, Miranda, Mason; sisters, Diane Smith and Janie (Mark) Hawes; brother Mike (Kathleen Irons) Robertson; brother-in-law, John (Shawna Cane) Paine; sisters-in-law, Voni King, Suzie (Jim) Smith, Janet Blosch; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Graveside services were held at Valley View Cemetery, Vale, on Friday, Jan. 22. Funeral arrangements were under the care of Lienkaemper Funeral Chapel 78 NW 1st Ave Ontario, OR 97914. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a favorite charity or the American Heart Association.

LEARN HOW TO PLACE AN OBITUARY: Contact Autumn Butler, Enterprise office manager, at [email protected] or call 514-473-3377.