Harry Denton Jacques (or as he was known in the oilfield, “Bud” or “Festus”) of Powell died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on Saturday, July 14, 2018, at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, Illinois. He was 84. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He lived in Powell, which he called his home from 1969 until 2013, when he then moved to the VA Hospital for health reasons.
Harry was born on March 29, 1934 in Horace, Kansas, to Harry and Jeanie Jacques. He was born sixth in a family of seven. In order, he had five sisters and one brother of which preceded him in death. His sisters were Irene, Pauline, Ethel, Betty and Alice and his brother, Donald. His family survived the Dust Bowl and The Great Depression in western Kansas.
He graduated from Stanton County High School in Johnson City, Kansas, in 1953. He served two years of active duty in the U.S. Army in Germany after high school, then another two years in the Army Reserve. On Aug. 23, 1959, he married Shirly Ann Higbee of Tribune, Kansas. Shirley passed away in 2016.
He’s survived by his three children, Jeffery Todd Jacques of Mesa, Arizona, Peggy Sue Jacques Blasdell (son-in-law Craig Blasdell) of Powell, and David Lee Jacques of Spokane, Washington. He’s also survived by Jeff’s children — his grandchildren — Nicole Jacques Smith of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Morgan and Kaitlyn Cousins of Laramie.
Harry spent the first 20 years of his working life as a farm and ranch hand in western Kansas. In 1969, he moved to Wyoming and spent the next 30 years working as a roughneck on drilling rigs as a motor man.
Later in life, he started “Bud’s Bugs” as a hobby, which became a great side business. He, along with the help of his friend Cliff Taylor, repaired or did complete rebuilds of Volkswagen Beetle motors in addition to doing body repair and repainting as needed on some Beetles as well. Many Park County residents may remember his big shop just across the railroad tracks and north of the grain elevators in Ralston.
His hobbies included fishing with his family or his buddies at every opportunity on the Buffalo Bill Reservoir with his boat. He loved sprint car races and drove to Billings many times to attend them. He was a big reader of all books, but always preferred a Louis L’Amour or Zane Grey western.
A private family grave site memorial service will be held for Harry at the Crown Hill Cemetery on Aug. 18, 2018, followed by a Celebration of Life gathering at American Legion in Powell at 2 p.m. All his friends and well known acquaintances are welcome to attend.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that if you wish to send a monetary donation in his name, mail it to: Friends of Fisher House-Illinois, 2720 Dundee Rd., #265. Northbrook, IL 60062, In memory of: Harry Denton Jacques.