Jackie J. Schoonover quietly passed away at home early Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016 at the age of 88. Born Sept. 30, 1927 to Daisy (Redmond) and Alvia P. Schoonover, Jack graduated early from Delta High School in 1944 to join the war effort as an Army Aviator. After several months in Brookings, S.D., at an Army Air Corps training center it became apparent the Army would not need additional aviators and so he was released from duty. Jack enlisted in the Colorado National Guard and married the love of his life, Luella May Dillon on Nov. 24, 1949.
Jack and Lue were married for 66 years and had three children: son Garry (Margaret) of Richmond, Texas, daughter Jackie Lynn (Les Coleman) of Delta, and son Denis (Beth Parish) of Arvada. One grandchild, Heather, is attending Colorado Mesa University. Preceding Jack in death were his parents.
Jack earned the rank of Command Sergeant Major in the Colorado Army National Guard before retiring with 36 years of service. He was also the Colorado National Guard "Soldier of the Year" during his career.
Jack was a Christian man and attended the First Baptist Church of Delta. A community minded individual, he served at various times with the school district accountability committee, the Boy Scouts, and as a founding member and officer of the Delta County Trap Club. He loved being outdoors hunting, fishing, ATVing, golfing and trap shooting. Jack was also an avid bowler for over 80 years and placed in Team and Singles competition and also won the Doubles bowling title at the Colorado State Bowling Tournament. He was still bowling when the Delta bowling alley closed in 2015. He also cared deeply for animals, especially his dogs.
Known as a hard-working and industrious man, Jack worked with his Dad in an excavation business until he joined the U.S. Postal Service in 1957 as a Letter Carrier. He enjoyed serving customers on his route, was "Employee of the Year" and earned the "Million Mile Preventable Accident Free Driving" award during his 32-year postal career. Jack also helped his children maintain a paper route in Delta for over 27 years. In retirement, Jack continued his industriousness, building their current home on Garnet Mesa in Delta and helping Lue maintain the beautiful property over the last 16 years.
Jack fully lived his life impacting many, many people along the way with his smile, quick wit and generosity. Jack could be seen regularly enjoying a cup of coffee and a piece of pie, commenting that he only liked two types, hot or cold. Anyone who knew him was incredibly blessed; please keep his memories alive. Services will be held at the First Baptist Church, 1250 Pioneer Road, in Delta on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow. A private family graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers the family requests you consider a donation to Hope West, the Delta County Humane Society or a charity of your choice.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.