Jack W. Below, 72, son of Finis Below and Fern (Wade) Below, was born Dec. 6, 1942, in Cairo, Ill. He passed away Oct. 27, 2015, at his family farm near Roby, Mo., surrounded by his wife and beloved dogs.
Jack grew up in southeast Missouri along the Mississippi River. At the age of 17 years and one day, Jack joined the USMC on Dec. 7, 1959, leaving Aug. 1, 1970, after having served three tours in Vietnam and receiving a Battlefield Commission to the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He earned numerous medals for valor, including a Silver Star, Bronze Star with clusters, purple heart, and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. Jack enlisted with the USAR on July 31, 1971, retiring April 1, 1981.
Jack married Linda Barr on Jan. 17, 1980, in a small chapel wedding at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Two strangers and their much-loved Dalmatian dog, Spats, witnessed the ceremony.
Jack is survived by his wife, Linda; beloved dogs, Peanut, Hairy, Ugg, Cocoa, Hashbrown, Petunia, Thumper, Daisy, Sunshine and Short Round, all of the home; daughter, Cathi Bert-Roussel of North Carolina; son, Jack Below, Jr., of St. Louis, Mo. (both from a previous marriage); and goddaughter, Denna Tune of Houston, Mo. Also surviving is Jack’s sister, Loretta Parker of St. Louis, Mo.
Jack served over 20 years in military service and worked several years in various government positions at Fort Leonard Wood before finally retiring. He proudly built a log home and barn on the family farm, raising strawberries, cattle, pigs, chickens all being overseen by the family donkeys Cuff and Link. He enjoying farming, especially raising a large garden, which he shared with the community. Jack enjoyed woodworking, including making a beautiful carousel for his wife, Linda, and constructing a rustic log cabin on their farm. Jack enjoyed life and loved hunting, fishing, golfing, and beekeeping.
Before Jack and Linda were married, Jack promised Linda he would be in charge of the entertainment and said she could be in charge of everything else… he kept his promise for over 35 years. Jack said he wanted one thing from his life and that was to leave this earth a better place. His generosity, kindness, and love will be felt for many years after he left this earth for his heavenly home on Oct. 27, 2015.
Memorial services are 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, at Roby Assembly of God Church with Pastor Bob Troutt officiating. Jack made the wish to his wife, Linda, to scatter his ashes on the family farm near Roby, Mo. Cremation was under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Animal Shelter of Texas County (TASTC).