Sunday, August 30, 2015


SIDNEY ALBERT BILLINGTON, JR. – born January 14, 1942

Cousin Goldie Christopher and Jack 1942 
Jack Billington was born Sidney Albert Billington, Jr., named after his dad.  When he was born the nurses in the Missoula hospital nicknames him “Jack” and the name stuck.  Some say the name came from “Lumberjack,” because he was stocky built. Some say it was because he had such a loud cry.  His sister Blondie says it was because he was 14 lbs… the biggest baby they had ever had in the hospital.  Some say he was called Jack because Jack Dempsy was the Boxing Heavyweight Champion of the World at the time.  Jack says he was always told he was only 10 lbs. but that he did have a loud, wild cry. He was born on January 14, 1942 as the 8th and last child of his father, Sid Billington and his mother Eva Lanora (Sutton) Billington.  He came home from the hospital a few days later to join his family on their ranch in Arlee. His sister Carol was 7 years old at the time. His sister Donna was 9, Jo was 15.  El Dee was 18.  His siblings living away from home were Blondie 19, Stella 20 and Billy, 22.

Goldie and Jack  1945 Winter
Roger Vetter  Goldie Christopher  Jack Billington
Jack and his Dad 1945
Goldie and Jack with Watermelon
The ranch was a great place for a little guy to grow up. Before long he was toddling along with their farm animals. We have only one picture of Jack with his dad, but we can imagine that he followed him around the ranch as chores and projects were done. His dad died when Jack was only three years old. Eva sold the ranch and moved into Arlee and began working as a cook in the Log Cabin Café. She rented a little house close to work and to the school so the kids could walk to the Arlee Elementary School. Jack attended first through fourth grades there.  Most of the time he enjoyed playing outside with his dog and his friends.

Jack and Goldie in Eva's yard

One day Bill Hayline (owner of the 4B’s Restaurant Chain) ate at the Log Cabin and was impressed with Eva’s cooking.  He was looking for a cook for the Missoula 4B’s restaurant and offered her the job.

Eva worked at the 4B’s café in Missoula for several years. Jack and Eva stayed on Sussex
street with Jo and Lyall and Jack attended a local school from fifth to eighth grade.

When Eva married Fred Deschamps in 1956,  Jack moved to the Deschamps Ranch at Fred Lane in the Frenchtown area.  Jack enjoyed living on the ranch; the horses, the cattle, and all of the space. He attended Frenchtown High School and graduated in 1960.Many family members came to visit the ranch. Jack was always willing to hitch up the horses for them to ride. At Christmas time, if there was enough snow, he and Fred would put the sleigh bells on the horses and hitch them up to the old sleigh and take everyone on an old fashioned sleigh ride. Also, everyone enjoyed sledding down the big hill beside the barn.

Jack and Jackie
One year Jack got a motorcycle and he would use it to pull his nieces and nephews up the hill and then they would sled down. This would go on for hours until Grandma Eva called everyone in for hot chocolate and cookies.

After graduation Jack worked on the ranch and worked at Point Six clearing the roads.  He joined the Air Force, but they rejected him because he had flat feet.  Then he went to work in Seattle at his uncle Harold’s machine shop.  When he came back to Montana he worked for the Bureson Glass Shop.

When Jack was a bit older, he had a serious accident on his motorcycle. He didn’t see a train coming while he was driving down the road. He attempted to cross the tracks and got hit by the train. His motorcycle was totaled. Jack was in the hospital, unconscious, for several days and lost about a week’s worth of memory. Miraculously he survived with only a broken collar bone and no permanent damage or brain injury.  He was back to work in three weeks.

Jack began to work at the Fuller Auto and Window Glass Shop with his uncle, Lyall Spooner, who was the manager at the time. He became a glazier and learned the trade well.  The name of the shop was changed to Creative Paint and Glass and Jack continued to worked there until he retired in 2010, but continues to work when needed at the shop.

Jack married Jackie (Jacqelyn Williams) in 1968. Jack adopted Jackie’s three year old son Anthony. This began their little family at 12300 Fred Lane, Frenchtown.  Cynthia Lou (Cindy) joined the family in 1969.  Jay Dee Billington arrived in 1972. They enjoyed living there for many years as the children grew into adulthood.

Kelly Blondie Donna  Stella  Jack and Jo on Eva's birthday

Blondie Donna Stella Jo and Kelly    Sisters of  Jack at their mom, Eva's,  funeral
Roger Vetter,  Blondie, Jack
Jackie and Jack
Jack and Jack with Cindy Jessica and Cooper
Jack and Jackie at home

Tony’s daughter, Jessica, was born on June 30, 1990 and was raised by her mother in Idaho, attended college in Dillon, Montana and is now married and living and working in Missoula.  Jack and Jackie enjoyed watching their first grandchild “Jessie” grow into a wonderful young lady.

Tony married Shannah Lynn Schlegel in 2002 and their children Dylan Marie, born May 23, 2004; Braidy Rose, born April 1, 2007 and Rhett Dawson, was born January 15, 2010. They live in the Kallispell area. Now Jack and Jackie enjoy watching these delightful little ones as they grow.

Cindy married Kevin Griswold in 2003 and their first child, Cooper Jack was born on May 11, 2004.  Irene Carol was born July 6, 2006, Kyle Richard was born May 22, 2009 and Emmitt Cole was born January 25, 2011. They live in close by Missoula and are able to visit Jack and Jackie often
adding more fun and excitement to the “grandparenting” stage of Jack’s life.

Jay Dee married Nancy Patenaude and with her children Kate and Cale, lived in the Six Mile area for awhile and also resided in Missoula’s Miller Creek area. Now they are living in Colorado.  Jack and Jackie were so pleased to add to their growing grandchildren, now numbering 10!
Jessica Jack and Kate

Cindy Kevin, Jay Dee, Jackie, Jack

Jackie continues to enjoy sewing and tailoring. Jack has always liked fishing and is now able to do more.  They both love being with their children and grandchildren as often as possible. Now that Jack is retired they also like to travel and visit relatives.

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