Paying Respects to My Father

Jack Fairchild

Today I wrote my father’s obituary, with profound sadness and respect ~ Sheryl Fairchild

Jack F. Fairchild, Sr. passed away at his home in Montague on December 12, 2014. Jack was 85 years old. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Burnice May Fairchild, and his three children, Sheryl Fairchild of Fairfield, Jack Fairchild, Jr. of McCloud, and Pamela Girard of Portland, Oregon. He is also survived by his three grandchildren: Clint Fairchild of Klamath Falls, and Paula and Sam Girard of Portland.

Jack was born on March 27, 1929 in Baker, Oregon of parents Russell and Thelma Fairchild. He joined the Navy in 1946 when he was just 17 years old. He served two terms of duty, re-enlisting when the Korean War broke out and leaving his wife and young son in the care of his parents to serve his country. He had vivid memories of his Navy experience and expressed pride in his military service throughout his life.

Jack was also proud of his distinguished career in law enforcement. He began his first years in law enforcement in Klamath Falls, Oregon as a foot patrol and then later a motorcycle officer. He served on the Lakeview, Oregon Police Department from 1959-1964, during which time he ran unsuccessfully for Chief of Police. He accepted the post of Siskiyou County Deputy Sheriff in McCloud in 1964 and served as “the small town cop” for over a decade. It was a time fondly remembered by Jack when small town law enforcement included knowing everyone in town, always being on call and having people knock on his door to request assistance, and responding to a wide range of personal and law enforcement needs in the community. When Jack was promoted to Captain, he relocated to Montague to be near the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department home office. Jack was the first Deputy in the Sheriff’s Department to train and use a police dog in the line of duty. He trained two K-9s, Buddy and Prince. He believed in the effectiveness of using K-9s and in those early years of using police dogs, he advocated for sustaining a K-9 program in the Sheriff’s Department.

After 20 years in law enforcement, Jack retired and pursued his love of driving. He bought a logging truck and as the logging industry slowed, he updated his trucking business to hauling wood and other cargo. Towards the end of his career he sold his truck and drove for Stidham Trucking in Yreka. When his trucking days were over, he continued to drive as a volunteer for Veteran’s Services, transporting veterans to their medical appointments.

Jack will be remembered for his work ethic, his years of service to others, and his playful and unique sense of humor. A graveside memorial service will be held in June, 2015, at Evergreen Cemetery in Yreka (an announcement will be made at that time). Please make memorial donations to Siskiyou County Canine Association, 305 Butte Street, Yreka, CA 96097.

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