Cover photo for Harold "Jack " Driggs's Obituary
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1922 Harold 2016

Harold "Jack " Driggs

December 10, 1922 — June 11, 2016

Harold Jack Driggs

December 10, 1922-June 11, 2016

Harold Jack Driggs, beloved husband, father and grandfather, slipped quietly away June 11, 2016 in Rexburg, Idaho, at the age of 93.  Born December 10, 1922, he was the fourth of five children born to Byron and Ruth Driggs of Driggs, Idaho.

Jack spent most of his life in his beloved Teton Valley. He was a child of the Great Depression. As a young man he served his country as a ship’s medic with the United States Merchant Marines. He loved seeing many parts of the world during this time. At one port in Panama, he adopted a tiny dog (one of many he loved over the years). It soon became the ship mascot. During this time, he was married briefly to Grayce Waddell of Driggs, Idaho (later divorced). He then met and married Doris Mellone (later divorced) of New York City, and brought his new bride to live in Teton Valley. Together they had one son, John Driggs, now living in St. Paul Minnesota.

Jack owned a small soda shop and grill in Driggs in the early 1950’s. It was a popular spot for many. The valley teens loved coming in to talk with Jack while he made them a malted milk and burger. He was remembered as a fun-loving and charismatic person to many of that era.

In 1951, he was set up on a double blind date by Junior Hansen. That date was a beautiful, blonde school teacher, Neta Dustin. He was smitten. Within a few months, he and Neta were married as eternal sweetheart in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple on May 22, 1951. Together they have five children.

Jack worked hard all of his life. After selling his soda shop, he worked for his dad, and later Reese Chambers, at Teton Hardware selling and repairing farm equipment. During this time, he also sold and built grain bins. Teton Valley is dotted with those grain bins built by Jack and his sons. Later, he and Neta started Driggs Plumbing. With Neta at his side, the business became very successful. Jack was known for his honesty, hard work and integrity. He was an expert in the plumbing world and passed his trade on to his sons, David and Joe and his grandson, Seth. It was not uncommon for Jack to work two or three jobs at a time to provide for his family. He taught all of his children and grandkids to work hard, a gift they are all grateful for. His example of honesty and integrity are a heritage for his posterity.

Jack loved to travel. He and Neta traveled often after their retirement. They spent many winters in Arizona and especially Overton, Nevada where they also owned a home.

Jack knew how to play hard. He loved hunting and fishing. Once he shot a bear and served it for Sunday dinner to his unsuspecting good friend, Reese Chambers. He was a creative genius. He built a boat of plywood and fiberglass and called it his “Puddlejumper.” Much to Neta’s trepidation, he took it, with children in tow to Palisade Lake several times. She was always happy when they returned alive. He loved to also take his kids sledding behind the car. The sled was an old refrigerator door attached by a rope to the fender of his car. The ‘hill’ was Teton Pass. David, Joe and Carolyn will never forget the time they rode on the back of Jack’s flatbed truck all the way to Salt Lake City and back to pick up a load of grain bin steel. At the end of that trip, bugs in the teeth and sun and wind-burn was the worst damage received. Neta was usually terrified by these adventures. The kids all survived.

Many of the kids living in Driggs during the late 60’s and early 70’s will remember the ‘ice castles’ he created for many years in his back yard during the cold Teton Valley winters for everyone to play on.

One of Jack’s greatest passions was rock-hounding, a love he passed on to most of his children and many of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jack taught his family to love and respect nature. That is where the fondest family memories took place. Jack was also a very sharp Hearts card player. Even two weeks before his death, he still knew how to play a wicked game of Hearts. He loved collecting ‘stuff’. His yard was and is still filled with everything from antique fire engines, trucks and cars to piles of rocks and tools. He could never pass up a good auction or yard sale.

Jack was a man of strong passion and big personality. He was loved and respected by many. His temper was quick and could be brutal. That same bravado was a mask for the loving and tender heart that lay deep within him. It was a tender heart seldom seen but when it was seen, it was beautiful and gentle. It was his grandkids who saw it most often. He is loved dearly by them all.

We will miss the intelligence behind the mischievous eyes, the yellow suspenders, the hats, the teasing, the grumpiness, the smiles, having our butts kicked at Hearts, and all that was Jack Driggs: A man and life lived bigger than words can express.

Jack is the last child of Byron and Ruth to pass from this life. He was preceded in death by his parents and also his siblings: Earl, Cleon, Grace and Max. He was also preceded by two great-grandaughters: Ellee Ann and Rebecca Mae Driggs. Jack will be greatly missed by his children: David (Janeane), Carolyn (Phil) Ware, Joe (Robin) Driggs, Susan (David) Reeder, Linda (Dale) Prows and John (Bonnie), as well as 22 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren.

We are grateful to the patient and loving staff who cared for our Dad at The Homestead Assisted Living Center in Rexburg, Idaho. Thank You.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, June 16, 2016 in the Driggs, Idaho LDS Stake Center at 11:00 a.m. Viewings will be Wednesday night, June 15th, from 6:00-8:30 p.m. and again preceding the funeral services Thursday from 10:00 -10:40 a.m.  Interment will be in the Driggs City Cemetery.

There is a rejoicing and reuniting in Heaven today. We can hear our sweet- angel- mama, Neta, now: “What took you so long Jack Driggs?”

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