MISSOULA — Jack Reidy cast his last vote as one of Missoula’s oldest Democratic party members. Jack loved Missoula — he served as Ward 5 Council member for 22 years, and as the President of City Council for two terms. He retired at the age of 83, making him the longest standing council member in Missoula history. In recognition of his efforts, a meeting room was dedicated to him at Missoula City Hall. On Nov. 3, Jack passed away surrounded by his wife, Alvina, and daughter, Sharon.
Jack was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on Aug. 7, 1922. He moved with his parents, Elmer and Jeanette, to Missoula in 1926. Jack excelled in high school track, and was the Missoula County record holder in the 100-yard dash for decades. He later served with the Army Air Corps in China, Central Burma and India Burma from 1943 until his discharge in 1946.
Jack married Alvina Eve Forsch on Oct. 14, 1951. He and Alvina had just celebrated their 67th anniversary. Jack and Alvina have three daughters — Sharon, Jan and Kathy.
Jack’s first career was as a salesman for Eddy’s Bakery, where he became the top salesman. He worked for Eddy’s for 38 years, and was a proud member of the Teamsters. When Jack was in his mid-90s, and needed to renew his driver’s license, he confidently reminded the family that he was a “professional driver.”
In addition to his family, Jack loved sports. His teams included the Montana Grizzlies, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and the Green Bay Packers. He was so devoted to the Grizzlies that, at his grandson Jean-Paul’s college graduation from MSU in Bozeman — while under threat by the family to either stand for the Bobcat fight song or take the bus home — he reluctantly stood. However, he later admitted to having crossed his fingers, so as not to betray his beloved Grizzlies.
His other family activities included camping at Seeley Lake and fishing at Rock Creek where, for a time, he owned a cabin. Jack’s Irish tradition was important to him. Prior to catch and release, he kept the family in fish for Friday meals, and once won a fishing derby on Seeley Lake for the largest rainbow trout.
Jack was a member of the oldest golf foursome at Highlands Golf Course. He was an avid golfer well into his 90’s. He bragged of his Geriatric Team of Wally, Al, Dick and Jack. They had over 350 years of combined experience. There are over 1000 golf balls currently in the trunk of Jack’s car.
Jack had nearly a century to experience life. He fought in a world war, was a public servant, rode an elephant, claims he had to shoot a tiger, and raised a family in Missoula. He was preceded in death by his father (Elmer), mother (Jeanette), sister (Eileen), and friends and family from Missoula’s past. He is survived by his loving wife, Alvina, his brother, Tom Reidy (Gail), and his three daughters - Sharon Toussaint (Paul), Jan Swanson (Dave), and Kathy Kesheimer (David). His surviving grandchildren include Bryanna Toussaint, Jean-Paul Toussaint, Rochelle Toussaint, Christian Swanson, Hillary Turtle (Cameron), Adam Kesheimer (Katie) and Emily Kesheimer. He is also survived by two great-grandchildren - Hannah and Charlie Turtle.
Our most grateful appreciation is due to the entire hospice team at Partners in Home Care (especially Danny, Mia and Judy), Hestia and, Jack’s favorites , Shannon, Sharon, Matilda and Erica who provided extraordinary care to Jack in the last few months of his life.
Mass will be celebrated at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church on Friday, Nov. 9 at 10:30 a.m. with a reception to follow. Inurnment with Military Honors will take place at 1:30 p.m. at Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery.
Any donation or remembrance in Jack’s honor should be directed to the Missoula Veteran’s Center or the Grizzly Quarterback Club. And in Jack’s words, “Keep the Faith”. Condolences can be left for the family at cremationburialsocietyoftherockies.com.