SUPERIOR – "Jack" Brookins, 78, of Superior, died Thursday, March 12, 2015, in his home surrounded by family.
John A. Brookins was born in Butte on Aug. 29, 1936. He graduated from Boys Central High School in 1954 and then joined the Navy. He worked for our country as a photographer despite his seasickness. After Naval Service, Jack returned to Montana and earned his Bachelor of Science in secondary education at Montana State (Go Cats), in 1961, and became a science teacher. In 1971, he completed his Master's of Education at the University of Montana (Go Griz). He became "Mr. Brookins" to many years of students in the Superior School District.
He married Francis, "Frankie," "Fran" Olson in 1963 and they started their life together in Seattle. They came home to Montana and moved to Butte before finally choosing the rural lifestyle in Superior two years later. It was here that they made their HOME, raised four children and developed some great life long friendships. Jack's role model, his grandfather "Gramps," taught him how to bring up his family. Jack worked hard to create opportunities for adventures and learning. There were cross country trips and camping. He taught his children to snow ski and water ski, fish, hunt, canoe, ride a horse and most anything with a motor. "Dad" and Mom put on many miles following their kids and supporting the things they were doing. Jack valued integrity, self discipline, perseverance, honesty and love of his family. He expected a lot from himself and all his "kids" so we hope that he is up there smiling at what he accomplished.
Jack retired in 1990. In his retirement years, Jack kept making adventures, going places and traveling with his wife Fran and friends who wanted to go. Since he found out that he was ill three years ago, Jack, in a wheelchair, went to graduations, birthdays and grandkids activities no matter how difficult. In his suffering, he turned his focus toward others and we have been "blessed" to see his love grow stronger for his wife. In a letter to his kids about the things he has learned and wished he had done years before in his marriage. He wrote, "All couples MUST always put their mate first and love them before family, kids, jobs etc. You can stop reading now because I really have nothing more to say."
When asked about his legacy Jack said, "You're looking at one of them" motioning toward his youngest daughter. He is survived by his wife, Fran; daughter Cookie (Steve) Brooks; son Dean (Allison) Brookins; daughter Pam (Daren) Skonord and daughter Ann (Mike) Hightower. He was "candy pocket" grandpa to 12 grandchildren, Paul, Malia, Shane, Tiana, Hailey, John, Dani, Jenna, Nate, Allen, Lucas and Maddy. He is preceded in death by his father, Wilbur Innes Brookins; his mother Gertrude Doltar and his brother, William Brookins.
Please join us in a memorial celebration of Jack's life. The service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at Superior's St. Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church.
Instead of flowers, Jack would like you to "Call or visit the love of his life, Fran" and "Take care of her!"
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