Jack Wicker was born November 5, 1934, in Kalama, Washington. He passed away peacefully July 16, 2023, at home surrounded by his daughter, Reni, and granddaughters Kelly and Kacy. He had been ill for just two weeks after a fall on June 30th. He had a rapid decline after the fall.
Jack is survived by his children: Reni Jansen, Roni (Don) Morton, Rick Wicker and Lisa (John) Westfall, 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He wore many hats in his life. His most prolific hat was one of an athlete. He had an illustrious high school career. He was part of an elite Kalama Basketball team in 1951 who caught the attention of the California All-Star Basketball team. They and Kalama sparred in the RA Long gym and Kalama, heartbreakingly, lost by one point. This was, however, a momentous game and core memory for our dad, his teammates, and all of Kalama.
He married our mom, Jacquie Jansen in 1954. They were married for 62 years at the time of her passing in 2016. They subsequently had all of us between 1955 and 1960. We had many adventures as a family. Dad was an Air Traffic Controller in the Air Force, and we grew up military brats. He served in the Viet Nam War in 1966-67. He was older, age 32, when he went to Viet Nam, but he volunteered to go because of the great need for Air Traffic Controllers at that time. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service there.
He retired from the service in 1976. His next hat to be worn would be one of the Marina Manager at the fledgling Port of Kalama and he is fondly remembered there. His friends and co-workers, Linda (Durgeloh) Williams and Rhonda King regularly took him out to lunch, the last time shortly before his passing. I’m sure he would want to give you a warm thank you for this, Linda and Rhonda. He looked forward to these outings.
His best friend, Arnie Nixon, also regularly visited and contributed to the accuracy of the information concerning the 1951 Kalama vs. California All-Star game.
Jack’s love for playing and watching all types of sports from golf to football was a major interest in his long life. He was supportive of Kalama High School sports, being able to watch many of his grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews play all kinds of sports for Kalama and rooted for all of them. He greatly admired and valued athletic talent and ability.
Preceding him in death were his beloved wife and our mother, Jacquie, his father, Dewey in 1950, his mother, Irene (Brown, Wicker) Hott in 2002 and his sister Ruth Miller. Thank you to all the friends and family who visited dad and helped him fill the time after mom passed.
A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16 at Steele Chapel, 5050 Mt. Solo Road, in Longview.