HANCOCK - Jack L. Fenton, 79, passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by his family early Monday morning, July 8, 2013.
He was born in Appleton, Wis., on July 28, 1933, to Claude D. and Laura V. (Van Horn) Fenton. He was a graduate of Houghton High School, class of 1952. Following high school, Jack served his country in the US Coast Guard from 1953-1957 in Norfolk, Va.
Prior to entering the USCG, Jack married his high school sweetheart, Nancy L. (McGann) on August 1, 1953, at the Hancock First United Methodist Church. After being discharged from the USCG, Jack attended Ferris State University for a year, but chose to leave school and return to the Copper Country to continue to build his family and get involved in local business.
Initially, Jack worked along-side his father-in-law, Marv McGann, founder of McGann Building Supply, and then later took over and grew the business. The business still remains in the family and will celebrate its 63rd year in 2013.
Being a longtime resident of Hancock, Jack has been involved in many local service-oriented organizations, a few being; Hancock Volunteer Fire Department, Hancock Elks, and Michigan Tech Husky and Blue Line Clubs. Holding season tickets, you would routinely see Jack and Nancy supporting MTU and Hancock sports teams. Jack was a long-time member of the Hancock United Methodist Church, where he served as an usher for nearly 50 years.
Some of Jack's interests included golfing, boating, gardening and baking delicious treats - especially scones. He was very supportive of his kids and grandkids, making it a priority to attend and be involved in many milestone events (e.g. activities, sports, baptisms, birthdays, graduations, weddings). Jack loved the outdoors, being founding member of Camp Wannabuck, where he hunted annually with family and friends. He and his hunting buddies took numerous trips to South Dakota to hunt pheasant and knew most of the back roads of Northern Michigan. These hunting and outdoor excursions have been creating memories for over 30 years, many of which were shared with his sons and grandsons.
Jack most definitely lived up to his name as "Jack of all trades," being able to fix most anything. He will forever be remembered and loved for his great sense of humor, abundant generosity and his great dance moves. His grandchildren will never forget his ability to lay down a sweet melody on his harmonica or carrying the tune in the Fenton family tradition of singing "grace" at meal times.
Preceding him in death are his parents; Claude and Laura (Van Horn) Fenton; his sisters, Carmen Tourville and Judy Boman.
He is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Nancy M. Fenton; sister, Nada Reuss of Florida; children, LouAnn (Stan) Vitton of Hancock, Peggy (Mike) Wagner of Traverse City, Mich., Penny (Rick) Pardini of Willamsburg, Mich., nephew/"son" Richard (Donna) Boman of Ada, Mich., Tom (Paula) Fenton of Green Bay, Wis., Jim (Julie) Fenton of Hancock, and Peter (Karen) Fenton of Hancock. Jack's grandchildren are; Emily (Andy) Waisanen, Robin (Greg) Meneguzzo, Libby (Ben) Woodworth, Andrew (Courtney) Wagner, Trisha (Mike) Novak, Jill Pardini, Amy Pardini, Eric (Molly) Pardini, Mark Boman, Kristen (Hui) Zhang, Kyle Fenton, Tyler Fenton, Nick Fenton, Abby Fenton, Jack W. Fenton, Allyson Fenton, and Laura Lou Fenton. Jack's great-grandchildren are: Ethan and Emma Novak, Lucy and Hattie Waisanen, and Finley Woodworth.
Visitation will be in the Hancock First United Methodist Church at 401 Quincy Street in Hancock from 4 until 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 10.
A celebration of life service will also be held in the Church beginning at 11 a.m., Thursday, July 11, 2013.
Memorial gifts may be directed to the Hancock Public Schools Foundation or the Hancock First United Methodist Church in the name of Jack L. Fenton.
The O'Neil-Dennis Funeral Home in Hancock is serving the family. Please go to oneildennisfh.com to leave online condolences.