Jack Ivar Bothum was born Dec. 8, 1939 in Greenbush, Minn., the oldest son of Myles and Judith (Petterson) Bothum. News of his birth garnered an article in the paper – a baby who had 10 living grandparents, including some in Sweden and Norway. Jack grew up in Kennedy and Halma, along with his younger brother, Mickey. His dad was a farmer and his mom was a school teacher.
He graduated from Karlstad High School in 1958. In his high school years, he made some lifelong friends – Francis Anderson and Daryl Rice. In the fall he tried NDSU for a quarter, but decided that it wasn’t for him. He worked as a farm laborer for next few years, waiting for the right girl to come along. And, she did. Loretta tried to move to Minneapolis, but he convinced her to come home to him.
Jack and Loretta got engaged and were married Nov. 30, 1963, in Lake Bronson. After a trip to Nashville, they settled in with Jack’s parents on the farm near Halma. In August of 1964, after playing a mean game of croquet in the basement at the farm with Mickey, she gave birth to the first of three children, Marna Lee. Three and a half years later, in the dead of winter, the one who was supposed to be the New Year’s baby, was born Jan. 23 – Shane Jason. Six years later, Marna and Shane welcomed another brother, Dallas Alton. He was born in the heat of summer with a head full of black hair and the name that Jack wanted. (He didn’t get his way on the other two).
Before settling into his career, Jack and Loretta tried moving to Michigan and also back to the Twin Cities, but home was always calling them back. They lived in Halma, Lake Bronson and eventually settled in Karlstad.
Jack worked for Wikstrom Telephone Company for more than 30 years and retired in 2001. He always had stories to tell about the phones he had to fix or the fun he had working with the Ripley Bros. and crew. And, who can forget the lifelong friends he made there, or the Christmas parties held every year at George and Delores’.
As much as he liked his job, he loved farming. Even though he was never officially a farmer, he loved to haul potatoes, work in beets and mow CRP at the cabin. He would take vacation from work to drive the potato truck for Dagen Farms or work in beets for Jeff Rickenberg.
But even more than that, he loved to socialize. Deer hunting was a very special time of year. He would spend weeks preparing the cabin and planning where everyone was going to sleep and what they were going to eat. It didn’t matter if anyone shot any deer, the fun was had at the cabin when everyone was together – family, friends and neighbors.
Deer hunting was a tradition, just like Christmas. Every year, Jack looked forward to picking out his lutefisk and getting it ready for Christmas Eve dinner. If there was a lutefisk dinner in the days leading up to Christmas, he was there. There was always commentary on whether it was big flakes or just mushy.
Jack looked forward to attending milestone events with family and friends. He had a great time at the Full Moon Saloon, the Country Bar, the Legion, the Eagles, the Frog Pond, Kickin’ Up Kountry, town festivals and family and all-school reunions.
He liked music. In his mind, there are only two kinds – Country and Western. Especially old time country – Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash.
And, there was only one way to dress. Western shirt, jeans and cowboy boots. Never shorts, very rarely tennis shoes and certainly no t-shirts or polo shirts!
He liked to tease. His grandkids would call for Grandma Loretta to sit on him when he teased too much. He taught all of his kids, grandkids and great grandkids to “walk like John” and all about “ticks.”
He traveled – to California, the Black Hills, Branson, Texas, Yellowstone, Medora. Jack and Loretta often went with others – Jan and Chris, Mary and Glen, his parents and Mickey. In some of those travels there were surprises and he loved those, too – at the lake with Jim and Linda and in Branson with Jan and Chris.
He really loved retirement. No getting up early and no packed lunch. He watched Days of Our Lives for 40 years. He also liked westerns like Gunsmoke, Big Valley and Walker, Texas Ranger. While watching sports on TV was fun – the Vikings and every level of girls and women’s basketball, he also liked to watch sports in person. He followed high school basketball, even when his kids or grandkids weren’t playing.
Jack was a pretty good left-handed bowler and bowled on a mixed doubles team. He loved to play cards, especially smear. Many Saturday nights were spent playing cards with friends and family – Kenneth and Angeline, Wallace and Myrtle, Mary and Glen, Don and Gayle, Carl and Carol, Lorne and Julie, Glen and Lela, Gene and Kathy and so many others.
Survivors include his daughter Marna (Jim) Gisvold, sons Shane (Lori) Bothum, and Dallas (Leah) Bothum; grandchildren Ashley, Beau, Jacalyn, Katelyn and Nevada; great grandchildren Alysha, Hailey and Molly. Brothers Mickey (Bonnie) and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Norval, Terry (Susan), Wendell “Bim” (Gloria), Harley (Evette), Judy (Stephen) Stewart. In addition to many special friends and relatives Jim and Linda Manning, Jan and Chris and all other cousins.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Loretta, his parents, Myles and Judith, a brother Keith (in infancy). And, some beloved pets, too, especially Pee Wee, and a favorite rooster he had as a kid.
Jack had a serious stroke in late August and spent the last two months in the Karlstad Healthcare Center. It seems he didn’t want to be without the love of his life and decided that if Loretta wasn’t here anymore, then he didn’t want to be either.
Funeral services were held Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 2 p.m. in First Lutheran Church, Karlstad. Interment was in Eidsvold Cemetery, Halma, Minn. Visitation was held at the church Saturday for one hour prior to the service. Rev. Mark Hegeland, presiding; Justin Dagen Eulogy, Kirstin Olson, organist; Howard Hodne, Lois Peterson and Lois Anderson, trio. Honorary casket bearers were Clifford Green, Lamar C. Johnson, Terry Larson, Larry Bothum, Paul Oistad, Glen Spilde, Jr., and Francis Anderson. Casket bearers were Chuck Clow, Chris Renko, Ryan Bothum, Jeff Rickenberg, Justin Dagen, Clayton Peterson, Grant Bothum Jr. and Jim Manning.
Austin Funeral Chapel, Hallock, was in charge of the arrangements.