Jackie Eugene (Jack) Ellison, age 73 years, 9 months and 21 days, was born April 22, 1945, in West Plains, Mo., the son of Ed and Ruth (Johnson) Ellison. He began his new life in heaven at 3:15 a.m. Feb. 12, 2019.
Jack was married to Joyce Marie Collins on Oct. 15, 1965, in West Plains, Mo., and they enjoyed 53 years together. To this union two daughters were born; Sheila and Jackie. Jack and his family lived in Stover, Mo., before moving to Houston in 1987, and Houston quickly became his home.
He was a hard worker and had many trades. He ran his own brick crew for many years, but the majority of his life he spent operating heavy equipment. He was a road grader operator for Sherrill Township in Licking, and then for Burdine Township in Cabool until his retirement.
Jack grew up in the West Plains area and attended school there as well. He was one of 10 children. He loved cars, whether it was tinkering under the hood or doing body work and painting them. He restored many old cars as a hobby and often showed off this handy work with the photo albums filled with many pictures of his finished products.
After retiring, his interests turned more to gardening. He spent many hours perfecting his small pond and adding his favorite plants and flowers around it. His vegetable garden was small but produced more tomatoes every summer than he could give away to his family, friends and neighbors.
He was a shy, but caring man. He didn’t have a lot to say most of the time but when he spoke, it was always worth listening to. He was full of wisdom and could talk politics all day long. He would help anyone in need, never asking for anything in return. Babysitting his granddaughter, Ainsley, was the highlight of his week. They had a bond that was irreplaceable.
In 1984, at the Full Gospel Church in Eldon, Mo., Jack gave his life to Christ and was saved. He was very proud of his faith and tried to be a light to those around him. He was baptized in 1986.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents; his mother-in-law, Vernia (Stubbs) Collins-James; his father-in-law, Herlin Collins; two sisters, Susan (Ellison) Turnbull and Edna (Ellison) Strawn; four brothers, James Ellison, Kenneth Ellison, John Ellison and Roger Ellison; two brothers- in-law, Bob Turnbull and Herman Collins; and a sister-in-law, Lois Ann (Britt) Ellison.
He is survived by his wife of the family home; two daughters, Sheila (Ellison) Knierim and husband, Russel, of Stover, Mo., and Jackie (Ellison) Cox and husband, Ron, of Houston; two brothers, Joe Ellison and Bob Ellison, both of West Plains; one sister, Edith (Ellison) Pringle and husband, Charlie, of Willow Springs; four sisters-in-law, Georgia Ellison, Debra Ellison and Tammy Ellison of West Plains and Joann Collins Casey and husband, Richard, of Arkansas; two brothers-in-law, Robert Collins and Jerry Collins of West Plains; nine grandchildren, Jacob Knierim and wife, Ashley, Shannon Castrellon, Shaylin Hutsell and husband, Chad, Devin Garrett and wife, Stephanie, Colton Knierim, Destinee Ullom, Caysi Knierim, Aiden Cox and Addisyn Cox; seven great-grandchildren, Liam Beesler, Broley Hutsell, Judson Knierim, Ainsley Hutsell, Avery Garrett, Ridley Garrett and Kelsen Hutsell; and many, many nieces and nephews.
Jack lived a good life, and he loved his family. He will be remembered for his quick wit and ornery ways. Many hearts will be left with an empty space where so much joy had once been, however we know he loved the Lord. He fought hard in the end, but his reward was worth the fight. He finally heard the words he longed to hear for all of those years… “Well done, my child.”
Services are 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, at Evans Funeral Home with Colton Knierim officiating. Burial will be in Pine Lawn Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home. Pallbearers are Doug James, Jacob Knierim, Colton Knierim, Caysi Knierim, Devin Garrett and Tony Sheehan. Honorary pallbearers are Chad Hutsell, Russel Knierim, Ron Cox and Aiden Cox.
Memorials may be made to Hospice Compassus, 1602C Main St. Mtn. Grove, MO 65711.