Jack Drinkwater

Died: Wed., Apr. 29, 2015


Recitation of the Rosary

7:00 PM Fri., May 08, 2015
Location: Holy Family Catholic Church


Memorial Service

10:00 AM Sat., May 09, 2015
Location: Holy Family Catholic Church


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Music by The Piano Brothers


Jack Drinkwater, 90 died on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at Harney District Hospital.

Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be held on Friday, May 8, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in the Holy Family Catholic Church and Memorial Mass on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. in the Holy Family Catholic Church.

Jack was born on October 7, 1924 to Robert and Bessie (Smith) Drinkwater in Burns, at the old rock hospital located on North Egan Street.  Both of Jack's grandparents homesteaded in Harney County in the 1880's.  Jack lived the first five years of his life at the Old Rock Home 20 miles outside of Burns.  He had lived in his present home ranch on Poison Creek for 85 years.  Jack attended a small rural school, called Poison Creek, which included children in first through eighth grade.  He rode his horse to school those first few years.  Jack went to high school in the present Lincoln Junior High School building.  As a freshman and sophomore, he rode colts after school in the present location of the Harney Behavioral Building on West Adams Street.

December 19, 1943 Jack married his high-school sweetheart, the love of his life Betty (Claire) Drinkwater.  Jack was 19 and she was 18.  They celebrated 71 years together.  The couple loved to dance, and were excellent at it.  They both had the happiest smiles on their faces as they kept time to the music of Big Band songs.  At the young age of 19, Jack became a cattle rancher, running his own ranch.  The couple have five children:  Dick and Sandra (Cotey Drinkwater, Bob and Jackie (Church) Drinkwater, Bill and Janice (Walker) Drinkwater, Diane (Drinkwater) and Tom Weil and Jim and Cheryle (Gear) Drinkwater.  They have eight grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.

Jack spent his life living proudly in Harney County, stating, "Harney County will never let you down."  He has been a servant of Harney County in many ways during his lifetime: He was a school board member for both Slater and Burns High School.  he was a Burns High School Budget Board member, Harney County Fair Board Racing director, Finish and racing Judge, Brand Inspector, Water Shed Council member, Library Board member, Home Health/Hospice committee member.  He served the community as a County Commissioner for two different time periods.  His first term of office was from 1957 through 1960 and his second term was 1999-2002 and he was reelected in 2003 until 2012.  Jack was the 81st Grand Marshall of the Harney County Fair in 2005.  He considered it "a big honor" and rode his horse with pride in the parade and in the Grand Entry.

Jack Drinkwater loved God, his family and Harney County.  He stated, "I never have lived anyplace else or even attempted to".  Jack Drinkwater was respected for his leadership, citizenship, and sportsmanship.  He gave our community the very best he had to offer with our interests at heart.  He will be truly missed as a man of courage to do what is morally and ethically correct.  His smile and laughter could brighten any day.  He was a man of Honor, a child of God that truly lived for the purpose he was made.

Donation in Jack's memory can be made to the Holy Family Catholic Church, Hospice/Home Health or Dial-a-Ride.  Mail donation to LaFollette's Chapel, PO Box 488; Burns, Oregon 97720.

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Condolence Booklet

Ronda Purdy
   Posted Sun May 24, 2015
Dear neighbors, family and friends...

May faith lift you up, and love bring you comfort. My thought and prayers go out to you all, with deepest sympathy. The Purdy family.

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