John "Jack" Marchant
Our Beloved father John (Jack) Austin Marchant moved on ‘to the other side’ Sunday, February 19th in Mesa Arizona at the age of 87. He was preceded in death by his first wife Jaqueline Marchant and son Jay Marchant.
He leaves behind three sons; Bret Marchant (Cally), Richard Marchant (Keri), and Paul Marchant (April) as well as his 2nd wife Barbara Walker and her four sons; Randy Watts, Guy Watts, Charles Watts (Sandra), Kevin Watts (Teresa) and daughter Carla Sessions (Kevin). He is also survived by 26 Grandchildren: Austin, Cody, Cole, Shelly, Erika, Patrick, Marcus, Adam, and Christopher. On Barbara’s side: Shasta, Bill, Randon, Thomas, Charlie, Reo, Zac, Todd, Sean, Cody, Katelyn, Kevin, Samantha, Wes, Daniel, Aaron, and Ryan. Also, 38 Great Grandchildren and 1 Great, Great Granddaughter.
Jack was born in Cowley, Wyoming in 1935. His parents (Louise Walker and Austin Caufield Marchant) moved around during his childhood working ranches in the area. Most notable were longer periods at the Porter Place and the M.L Ranch at the foot of the Big Horns. As a youth he spent many days and nights herding cows over the mountains and sleeping under the stars. He began ‘rodeoing’ around the country when he was 15 and a year later ran into another friend Jim Tebbs who invited him to come work for his dad as a ‘heavy equipment’ operator in Southwestern Wyoming. When the job was finished, he returned to Lovell and when he was 17, he enlisted in the US Army during the Korean War. Given his experience with Dozers and Earth Movers he was sent to the Island of Guam to extend runways for the new B-52 bombers. During his time in Guam, he was introduced by Big Horn County Sheriff Allan Nichols to Jackie Shelby as a pen pal. Jackie worked with Allan at the Sheriff’s office in Basin. The two wrote for months and exchanged pictures and it didn’t take long after Dad got home that he and Jackie were married. He and his brother Roger started a small trucking company hauling uranium off the Pryor and Big Horns. His Uncle C.A. Lewis generously financed the venture. He also served as a Sergeant in the Wyoming National Guard.
Their first son Jay was born during this time and a year later Bret was born, both born in Lovell while they stayed at the M.L. ranch with Dads parents. The following year while Jack was working on the Interstate near Laramie, their 3rd son Richard was born. The family moved to Salt Lake when Jack hauled freight for a few years and at this time their youngest son Paul was born. Dad changed careers and began selling Life Insurance in Utah for a few years then moved to Montana and finally settled in Arizona where he and Jackie raised their family. Fond memories of riding dirt bikes, going to the lake, golfing, and cowboying were highlights of our childhood. Around 1975 Dad started an Aloe Vera cosmetics company which his son Bret took over around 1985 and today his granddaughter Reyna (Bret’s son Patrick’s wife) runs the Company. After years of Jackie following Dad’s career, it was his turn. Jack followed Jackie to Wisconsin and Texas before they finally retired. They had a home in AZ and ‘summered’ in Cowley. The two were sealed in the Billings, Montana Temple in 2007 and during that time Dad loved Home Teaching his friends and neighbors with the High Priests in Cowley. In 2009 Jackie passed away which left an enormous hole in the family and Dad’s heart. For 3 years Jack spent his Summers; taking his family to the mountains, golfing with his childhood buddy Allen Sessions, fishing trips with Kenny Banks and ATV rides with Tim and Jerie Townsend. He spent winters in AZ spending days riding ATV’s with son Rich, cowboying at Bret’s ranch and singing Karaoke with son Paul.
In 2012 Barbara Walker came into Jack’s life and filled an enormous void. Jack said the two ‘merged’ their homes into a new place in Cowley as they were married in 2012. Jack, Barb, and Barbs son Guy lived in Cowley in the Summer and ‘wintered’ in Mesa for the last 12 years. He was actively fishing, golfing, ATV riding and ‘pushing cows’ until a recent fall caused his health to decline and an eventual return to see Jackie and Jay again. As a family we learned to love and laugh from our Father, Husband, Grandpa, and Friend.
Funeral Services will be held Friday, April 14, 2023 in Cowley Wy, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 1:00 PM. Interment will be at the Lovell Cemetery following the service with Military Honors. A reception will be held at the church following the cemetery.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.