BENKELMAN, Nebraska -- Jackie "Jack" Lyle Pursley died Tuesday (May 4, 2010) at North Colorado Medical Center, Greeley, Colorado. He was 80 years old.
Jack was born to Clarence Elva and Pearl Frieda (Osborne) Pursley Feb. 25, 1930, in Benkelman. His family then moved to a farm in northwest Kansas where they lived eight years before moving back to Benkelman.
Jack started school at Kansas Green Valley School District 59. He then attended Benkelman Public Schools, participating in football, basketball, track, and graduated from Benkelman High School with the class of 1950. He attended and played football one year for McCook Junior College. On Sept. 23, 1951, he married Bettye Ann Frenzen at Zion Lutheran Church. Five children were born to them: Vicki LeAnne, Gary Lyle, Kevin John, Ronnie Jay, and Darci Leone.
Jack was baptized and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Benkelman in 1952. He has remained a member since that time, being thankful for the fellowship and peace that the membership afforded.
Jack was a bricklayer with his brothers for five years. The family moved to Denver where he delivered milk and went to refrigeration school in the evening for three years. After returning to Benkelman, he ran Jack's Refrigeration and Heating and worked at Caldwell's. Later, Jack worked for the City of Benkelman as an electrician and then as the maintenance man for the Benkelman Housing Authority. He was a member of the Benkelman Volunteer Fire Department for many years. Jack served as a rural mail carrier for 35 years.
Although he had health problems for many years of his life, he did not let this keep him from doing his work or enjoying family and friends. He was an avid hunter and fisherman who enjoyed the great outdoors. He and Bettye spent many years going to games to root for the Husker football team. They enjoyed many trips together to visit their family and to sightsee. In later years gardening, growing flowers, feeding the birds, wild turkeys, and deer that came into the yard and watching a good western movie were favorite pastimes. Spending time with his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids gave him special enjoyment.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Raymond, Melvin, Thelman, Clarence Junior, Neal and infant brother Dale; sisters-in-law, Luella Whaley and Donna Pursley; brother-in-law, John Frenzen; and father-in-law, Henry Frenzen.
Survivors include his wife of more than 58 years, Bettye of Benkelman; daughters, Vicki League of McCook and Darci Newman and husband, Mark of Andover, Maine; sons, Gary Pursley of Greeley, Colorado, Kevin Pursley and wife, Lynn of Abilene, Texas, and Ron Pursley and wife, Kathy of Benkelman; grandchildren, Jacob Powell of Watford City, North Dakota, Jasmine Hogan and husband, Danny of Tempe, Arizona, Kaitlin Powell and fiancÚ, Buck Haag of McCook, Erik and Alexander Pursley of Greeley, Colorado, Daniel Vaughn of Andover, Maine; four step-grandchildren, Trevor and Nicholas Newman. of Andover, Maine, Ashley Curtis and husband Dustin of York, New York, Josh Beideck and wife, Lisa of McCook, Nebraska; one great-grandson, Kelson Hogan; and two step-great-granddaughters, Kyah Curtis and Haley Beideck. Also surviving is one sister, Donna Hubbard and husband, Rod of Greeley, Colorado; JoAn Pursley of Greeley; two sisters-in-law, Viola Reese of McCook and Sharon Frenzen of Lakewood, Colorado; mother-in-law, Leone Frenzen of Benkelman; and many nieces and nephews
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in his name to Zion Lutheran Church of Benkelman or to a cause of your choice.
Visitation will be today from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the funeral home.
Services will be held at 1:30 p.m. (MDT) on Saturday, May 8, at Zion Lutheran Church in Benkelman with Pastor George Matthews officiating. Burial will be in the Benkelman Cemetery.
Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman is in charge of the arrangements.