Jack Rollison – UPDATED

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Memorial services with military honors for 84-year old Jack Rollison of Chadron, NE, are Sat, May 21, 2022 at 1:00 at Chamberlain Chapel in Chadron

Everyone is invited after the service to Jack’s Sweet Tooth Dessert Bar at the Chadron Senior Center.

A memorial to create a college fund for Jack’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren has been established and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE 69337.

Online condolences may be left at www.chamberlainchapel.com

Harold Jack Rollison was born to Harold “ Peck”  James Rollison and Evon (Troussel) Rollison on April 13, 1938. At the time of his birth, his family was living in Mt. Harris, CO, a coal mining town. “Grandpa” Jack passed away in his home and in his favorite chair on May 2, 2022.

Jack was a loving brother to three siblings Carol (Johnson), Gayle (Hennek) and Patrick Rollison. Jack went to grade school in Mt. Harris until the age of 13 when the family moved to Hanna, WY. Jack graduated in 1956 as salutatorian from Hanna High School.

Jack often reminisced about his teenage years working with his dad and friends, cutting timber in the Medicine Bow National Forest.  He enjoyed working in the forest and his love of nature grew from there.

From the timbers and mountains to the University of Wyoming, Jack went to school on a full ride scholarship, but to an illness, he did not finish his dream of becoming a geologist. Instead, in 1960 Jack joined the United States Air Force, where he took his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.

In 1961, he was sent to Fort Belvoir in Virginia and there met the love of his life at a Sunday church meeting. This love was a young lady named Brenda Marie Van Loon, from Knoxville, IA. A few months later, Jack was stationed at NORAD in Colorado Springs, CO, but continued to correspond with Brenda for a year.

She transferred to Denver and resumed dating in person. They were married on July 23, 1963, in Knoxville, IA, on her family farm. 

They resided in Colorado Springs and in June 1964, their first son, Greg Matthew, was born. They left Colorado Springs in 1965 when Jack was honorably discharged after 4 years in the Air Force, and in 1966 moved to Laramie, WY.

Their second son, Eric Andrew, was born in Laramie in February 1968, and in November 1971, a daughter, Maria Yvonne was added to the family.

Jack again enrolled at the University of Wyoming, but became deathly ill with blood clots and once again was unable to complete his degree. Despite that setback, family continued to live in Laramie until 1990, when their jobs took them to Casper, WY. 

Brenda started a new career in 1999 in the US State Department with training in Washington, DC, at the Foreign Service Institute. The assigned posts that Brenda and Jack experienced were Bern, Switzerland (2 yrs), The Hague, The Netherlands (3 yrs) and Guatemala City, Guatemala (16 months).

During these times, Jack worked at supervising different contractors who came to work in the embassy buildings.  The couple had MANY wonderful adventures and memories of new friends in those distant lands. 

Mandatory retirement at age 65 meant that Brenda had to leave the Foreign Service. Jack was with her all through those wonderful years and helped carry her load and cheer her on.

In retirement in 2007, Jack and Brenda moved to Chadron and took up residence across the street from their daughter Maria and her family. In their home, which echoed their travels, they helped raise their two grandchildren Mande and McKoy Wollesen. 

One of the last conversations Jack had with Maria was his love for all his grandchildren and how time passed too quickly. He was surrounded by his beautiful artwork – mostly of nature (so talented!) – as he spent his last days looking at and reminiscing about his prized elk head  “Elmo” and the MANY pictures of his grandkids, family and friends.

Jack is survived by Brenda, his wife of nearly 59 years, sons Greg (Marcie)( CO), Eric (Pam) (CO) and  daughter Maria (Mark) (NE). Jack and Brenda’s grandchildren are Miles (Emily) Rollison(CO), Eden (Nate) Bekkla (FL) and Mande and Mckoy Wollesen (NE). Rebekah Rollison (CO). Two great grandchildren are Ia Rollison and newly arrived Harlow Bekkla. (5/1/22)

Jack is also survived by little brother Pat Rollison and his three sons and their families, brother-in-law Duane Johnson and his two children and their families, and great-niece Morriah “Mo” Hennek and her two sons.

Jack was preceded in death are his parents, Evon and Peck Rollison, his little sister Gayle Hennek and her family: husband Doug, daughter Denise and son Kevin, his big sister Carol Johnson, sister–in law Pam Rollison, daughter-in-law Pamula Rollison, niece (baby) Robin Hennek and great-niece (toddler) Heather Olsen. 

Chamberlain Chapel of Chadron is in charge of arrangements for Jack Rollison.

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