Jackie Witzel

Died: Sun., Jun. 2, 2019


Graveside Service

10:00 AM Mon., Jun. 10, 2019
Location: Burns Cemetery


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Jackie Witzel, 94 was released from this world into the arms of God on June 2, 2019.  She was born May 21, 1925 in Vernal, Utah.  Her parents were John and Katherine Hatch.   She was a resident of Harney County for 70 years.
Jackie was a child of the depression and World War II.   Her father John died from typhoid fever when she was a very young child.   Her mother Katherine worked several jobs to feed and care for her family which also included Marvel, Knolen, and William (Bill).  During the second World War, Bill was called to fight in the European theatre, while Knolen’s National guard unit was sent to the Pacific region. Knolen was killed on Luzon of the Philippine islands on January 22, 1945.   Bill was severely wounded during the invasion of Normandy.  This was a tragedy that many American families faced, and it impacted Jackie for the rest of her life.
Soon after the war Katherine met and married James Morgan (Bishy) Veater.   Bishy was hired as foreman of the Alvord Ranch in Harney County.   Katharine cooked for the ranch crew.   Jackie fell in love with the ranch life of Harney County which helped foster her love for horses.  In 1946 she met and married Guss Eugene Williams and lived for a short time at the Williams Ranch at Silver Creek.  Their son, Robert Knolen, was born in 1947.   Shortly after, Jackie and Guss divorced and she moved to Burns, working as a waitress at what is now the Highlander Café.
In 1949 she met Carl Landers.  A year later they were married.   They moved to Prineville, Oregon where Jackie worked as a homemaker.  In 1951, the family welcomed another son, Kerry Morgan Landers.   Jackie and Carl were divorced in 1957.  A year later she met Dell Witzel, a rancher from Diamond, Oregon.  They were married in Lovelock, Nevada on September 17, 1958.
Jackie and Dell ranched in Diamond until 1974.   At that time they sold the ranch and moved to Burns.  They lived on a small acreage just out of Burns for eighteen years before moving to a home on Egan street.   After Dell’s death in 1996, Jackie bought a different home in Burns.   For the next 20 years she enjoyed homemaking, sewing,  and crafting.   She created and sold many purses, stuffed animals, and dolls.   She really enjoyed the creativity of ceramics.
There are many stories that can express who Jackie really was.   She loved nature and she loved animals.   While living in Diamond, she loved to fish.   She often told the story of fishing on McCoy Creek with the ranch cat, Tom, following her up the creek to steal her fish.   She soon learned to put the fish on a willow stick and keep them in front of her in the water where she could watch them.
When she was living in Burns, she joined the Harney County Horse Women and rode with them during parades and rodeo ceremonies.   She enjoyed staying busy, and for several years worked at the Sprouse Reitz store on Main Street.   She was part of the election teams both in Diamond and in Burns, and for many years enjoyed relationships with the other women in the local garden club.   She loved her home and her family.   She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Jackie was preceded in death by her mother, Katherine; father, John; and stepfather, Bishy; brothers Knolen Hatch and Bill Hatch; sister, Marvel; sister-in-law, Lou Hatch; and grandson Robbie Williams.  She is survived by sons Robert (Skip) Williams and Kerry Landers, and daughters-in-law Vicki Williams and Terri Landers, and grandsons Nicholas Williams and Benjamin Williams.
Jackie chose a cremation service with her ashes to be interred with her husband Dell in the Burns cemetery.   There was a grave side service on June 10, 2019 at 10:00 AM.   Donations can be made to the Harney County Senior Center.

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Paul & Vicki Taylor
   Posted Mon June 10, 2019
So sorry for Your loss!! She was a Very Special Lady!!!

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