John (Jack) William Collier, 85, of Arnold, departed this life April 25, 2013 in Callaway, after a hard fought battle with cancer.
Jack was born July 9, 1927, in Kearney, to John N. and Helen L. (Bartz) Collier. Jack grew up in Stapleton, and graduated from Baker High School in 1945.
Jack started his life-long love and career in ranching as a young man at the Baskin Ranch north of Stapleton. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1946, and served his country during World War II in the Philippines. He was honorably discharged in 1947.
After a short stint with the Union Pacific Railroad, he and his father purchased a ranch 12 miles north of Stapleton in 1949. Jackâ€™s introduction into ranching took him through the Blizzard of 1949, where he had many stories to tell. In 1950, a second ranch was purchased in eastern Logan County.
May 18, 1952, Jack and Genevieve Ilene Wade of Tryon, were united in marriage in North Platte. Jack brought his new bride to this ranch where they raised their three daughters, cattle and Quarter Horses.
In the late 50â€™s, Jack acquired a private pilotâ€™s license and enjoyed many years of flying his own airplane. Later in life he enjoyed antique and classic automobiles.
He was a member of the United Methodist Church of Arnold, American Legion Post 324 and VFW 8258 of Stapleton and Flatlanders Car Club of North Platte. Jack was a former member of the Flying Farmers and Ranchers Association and the American Quarter Horse Association.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Genevieve; daughters: Jackie (Vernon) Stenger of Maxwell and their son BJ Stenger of North Platte; Judy Gracey of North Platte and her children Marty Gracey of Grand Island and his son Gavin Gracey of Hastings, Kisha Zieffle and her son Kale Kuhlhanek of Ansley, Cody (Katy) Gracey and their children Cole, Carly, Cache Gracey, Hunter and Emily Secrest of Sidney, and BoDell Gracey of North Platte; Brenda (Mike) Shinn of Kearney and their children Riley (Drew) Weir of Kearney and their son Aidan Weir, Nolan (Katherine) Shinn of Kearney and their son due in August, Jordan (Whitney) Shinn of Omaha, Bethany Shinn of Kearney; sister, Eleanor Rennick of Thousand Oaks, Calif.; niece, Kay (Rick) Janecke of Richland, Wash.; nephew, John (Donna) Rennick of Oregon; cousins, Bill (Sharon) Collier of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Tom (Caryl) Collier of Jefferson City, Mo., and a host of other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother-in-law Meredith Rennick and nephew Robert Rennick.
Memorial Services will be May 4, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. at the Arnold Methodist Church with Pastor Dale Coates officiating. Inurnment will be at a later date by the family. Memorials may be made in Jackâ€™s name to the Arnold Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad.
Arnold Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Published in Custer County Chief, May 2, 2013