John (Jack) Robert Pemberton was born April 29th, 1934 in Chicago, Illinois to Clare and William Pemberton. He graduated from Hearst High School in Chicago, Illinois in 1952.
After high school, Jack attended college at Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University) where he majored in Chemistry and served in the ROTC. Jack was also an active member in the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. During college, Jack worked in Climax, Colorado and worked in the mines. He worked various jobs, including driving trucks up the mountainside and during the summers would work inside the tunnels. Jack graduated from college in 1956.
During Jack’s last year of college, his parents left Chicago and moved to Colorado to run the Lucky GJ Ranch in Gypsum. Jack also worked at this ranch and took care of the people staying there. During this time, a young teacher from Iowa named Jean Nessa was also working at the ranch for the summer. Jack’s mom Clare introduced Jack and Jean to each other. Jack and Jean were married on September 2nd, 1955 at American Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, Colorado.
In 1956, Jack & Jean Pemberton moved to Ames, Iowa so he could work for the Ames Reliable Feed Company as an analyst for several years. For a 6 month period in 1958, Jack served in the Military in the Chemical Warfare Division in Anniston, Alabama. In 1959, Jack joined the National Guard, serving in both the Iowa and Maryland National guards, for a total of 8 years of service.
In 1959, Jack and Jean then moved to Silver Springs, Maryland to work for the USDA. While in Maryland, their first son John Robert Jr. was born on January 22nd, 1960.
The Pemberton Family moved to Story City, Iowa in 1961 and Jack continued to work for the USDA in Ames. He first worked for the Animal Disease Lab, and then became the head of Chemistry for the Veterinary Biology Department. Jack and Jean welcomed their daughter, Jane, on March 23rd, 1962.
Throughout the 1960’s, Jack continued his educational career and received his Master’s from Iowa State in 1966, followed by a PHD in Bacteriology & Immunology from Iowa State in 1971.
Jack was active in his community of Story City. In 1972, he was elected to the Story City – City Council and served as mayor of Story City from 1974-1978. He was also a member of St. Petri Lutheran Church for 30 years where he served on the church council for several years.
During his work career, Jack took several trips abroad. On behalf of the World Bank, he traveled to Mexico and Europe. Most notably, he was the United States Representative for the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. He attended the WHO conference twice. During one of the trips, his wife Jean attended as well and after the conference they enjoyed a 3 week trip of a lifetime around Switzerland.
Jack retired in 1989. He and Jean moved to Washburn, MO to fulfill a lifelong dream of farming. During this active retirement, Jack and Jean raised Gelbvieh Cattle. Several of their grandchildren would spend several weeks at a time with them at the farm, which was enjoyed by all. After 12 years of farming, Jack and Jean retired again to Cassville Mo.
During their time in Missouri, the Pembertons attended Holy Cross Lutheran Church. Jack was the president of the congregation for several years. They also were active members with the Golden Harvest Retirement Group where they enjoyed many lunches and dinners with their fellow retired friends.
In 2012, Jack and Jean moved to Overland Park, KS and resided in Brookdale Senior Living. Jack enjoyed his years at Brookdale and met many wonderful friends while living there.
John (Jack) Pemberton passed away on August 23rd, 2019 at the age of 85.
Jack is survived by his wife Jean, his children John (Michelle) and Jane (John), his five Grandchildren (Tyler, Justin, Thomas, Emily and Sarah) and his four Great-Grandchildren (Lincoln, Declan, Jamison and Elle).
A memorial service for Jack will be held on Sunday, September 22nd at 5pm in the entertainment room at Brookdale Senior Living, 6101 West 119th St, Overland Park, KS 66209. Memorial contributions can be made to the Church of the Resurrection Backpack program in Jack Pemberton’s name.
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