Jacqueline Jo Williams, who woke up every day with a smile and went to sleep every night counting her blessings, left us suddenly on March 23.
Jackie was born November 10, 1936 to John Kenneth Hurley and Josephine Berniece (Sullivan) in St. Joseph Missouri. She was the beloved older sister of Bill, John, Jim, and Tom. She was proud of her hard-working Irish heritage, the daughter of a boxer, turned policeman, then railroad man, Jack, and movie-star beautiful mother Jo. Jackie graduated from an all girl’s Catholic High School the Convent of the Sacred Heart in 1954 and was crowned “Sweetheart” of the Valentine’ Day Gala that year.
She married James Walter Williams, September of 1955 and their daughter Vivian was born in 1956 while JW was serving in the Air Force. A son, James Walter Williams, Jr. arrived in November of 1957. The family moved to Keenesburg, Colorado in 1960 when JW accepted a position to teach at Weld Central High School. Twins Douglas and Deborah joined the family in 1962, and Eric on Jackie’ birthday in 1966. She kept busy keeping the home fires burning as her husband became principal of Weld Central and pursued his doctoral degree at University of Northern Colorado.
Greeley became their home when JW was hired to help establish a small community college to be called AIMs in 1967. Soon after Jackie spent weeks typing and retyping her husband’s doctoral dissertation. When he received his honors that next spring, it was truly her accomplishment as well.
Jackie was a 1970’s lady, helping define motherhood in that modern era, she reared her five children with humor and verve, was the wife of a college administrator, and took classes at those institutions, earning an associate’s degree from Arizona College of Technology after the family relocated to the Southwest. She was thrilled to have taken part in several archeological digs of the Sonoran Indigenous people around Tucson.
When JW became ill she started real estate school, and that proved to be her forte. She was known as an ethical, friendly, and knowledgeable realtor. She loved helping families get into their first homes. One of her mottos was “Leave some profit in the deal for the next family.” She was generous and never took more than her share, more often less. Colorado called her back in 1981, after JW passed. She settled in Fort Collins, earned her Colorado Real State license, and helped establish many of the subdivisions there. She later went into property management.
She “retired” to Sarasota, Florida in 2007. She became a sea turtle lady, walking miles and miles of beach with the local turtle patrol, checking and documenting lager head nests and hatches. She was also a docent at the Ringling Brothers Museum, and a respected volunteer at Mote Marine Laboratory Aquarium, where she helped rehabilitate and care for gulf coast marine animals, from a blind turtle, to manatees, and injured dolphins.
Jackie hung up her wet suit three years ago and returned to Greeley to be close to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Once again, she was our safety net, arriving whenever and where ever needed with a smile, and goodie (donuts with sprinkles, homemade monkey bread, two favorites). She always carried her iPad to take and share photos, and delighted us with her texts—that dreaded spell checker being her only enemy.
She was joyfully received in heaven by her parents, and JW, son Jamie, and brother Tom. Those of us she sadly left behind include: daughter Vivian, her husband Keith Montey (who Jackie claimed as son when he walked through the front door in 1972) of Eaton, their children Blake (Tayler), bff Hannah, and LeAnne Kelly (Amos). Son Doug (Amy) of Los Angeles, and children Miles and Maude. Daughter Debb Brown (Jeff) of Fort Collins, and children Madeline Herboldsheimer (Dan), Jacob Brown (Lauren) and Erinn (Ty) Campton. And son Eric (Kristina) of Oslo Norway, and their children Thomas and Tara, the Hurley brothers Jim, Bill, and, John. AND the joys of her senior years, the Lucky 13 greats: Zeph, Liam, Luke, Marshall, Jax, Hugh, Clark, Jett, Hurley, Jewel, Quinn, James Dale, and Faye.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium https://mote.org/support/donate in Sarasota, or to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital https://www.stjude.org/give/memorials-and-dedications.html?sc_icid=wtg-mm-memorials-dedications