L.C. “Jack” Estes, 89, passed away on March 19, 2014 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Jack was born August 17, 1924 in Muskogee to the late Loy C. ‘Vern’ Estes and Carrie Bell Poole Estes.
He is preceded in death by the love of his life Dorothy Frances Wright Estes and their first born child Frances Jacqueline. Also, preceded by his sister Pati Whitfield.
Jack met Frances when her family moved next door to him on 14th Street in Muskogee in 1938. They attended West Jr. High and Central High in Muskogee until Jack enlisted in the U.S. Navy in the fall of 1941. He served our country in W.W.II from 1941-1944 as Ships Cook, 2nd class on the U.S.S. Kaskaskia, a supply ship in the Pacific.
Jack and Frances married on Sept. 23, 1942 in Reno, Nevada while his ship was docked in San Francisco. During the following year, Frances gave birth to their first daughter, Frances Jacqueline, who died shortly after birth in July 1943.
After Jack’s discharge from the Navy in November 1944, they traveled to California to check out a job at Disney and later to Roswell, New Mexico to work as a theater director. They returned to Muskogee after a very cold winter in New Mexico where Jack opened a commercial art shop in the old Fite-Rowsey Bldg. and Frances worked as a traffic manager at KBIX Radio.
Jack decided to further his artistic abilities and enrolled in Kansas City Art Institute & School of Design using the G.I. Bill.
Upon graduating, Jack took his mother to Houston, Texas to interview at a new drug store chain as a cosmetologist, after working many years at Calhoun’s and Purity Drug #5. Jack found a job at the new Foley’s Dept. Store in downtown and was a display shop foreman and interior display manager. Frances later joined him in Houston.
In 1950, Jack and Frances moved to Galveston to enjoy the coast. Jack was employed by the E.S. Levy Co. as a display manager. They moved back to Houston in the early 1950’s when Jack was offered a position in a new drug store chain called Dugan Drugs as head of the camera and commercial art dept. Jack’s mother, Carrie Bell, had married the founder J.S. Dugan. Jack continued working at Dugan Drug Stores until they were sold in 1969.
During this time Jack and Frances had 2 daughters, Caren born in April 1953 and Lynn (Kit) born in September 1955 in Houston where they lived until 1963 when they bought land in Magnolia, Texas. They enjoyed the country and raised a small herd of cattle, had a few horses and always a nice garden.
In 1969, Jack and Frances decided to attend the University of Houston School of Real Estate and became brokers. The Dugan Drug Stores had been sold to Eckert Drugs so a new career path was taken. They constructed a building in Magnolia to use for their real estate office, antique & collectible shop and rental space.
In 1975, Jack and Frances found a beautiful area in Fredericksburg, Texas where they opened an antique and collectible shop called ‘Jacks Emporium’ and had their grand opening on the 4th of July, 1976 celebrating the Bicentennial. They enjoyed traveling to purchase items for their shop and continued doing so until they retired in 1989/90. They had a beautiful home there overlooking the hill country which they sold in the early 90’s and enjoyed traveling in their RV for a number of years.
In 1994, Jack and Frances relocated to the hills of Tahlequah, Oklahoma near where they grew up. They had only been in Tahlequah about 5 yrs when Frances passed away after a long battle with cancer. They were about to celebrate their 57th Wedding Anniversary!
Jack missed Frances every day but continued on in good health, managing their home and yard. Jack enjoyed being outdoors. He loved working in the garden tending to flowers and vegetables as well as keeping the leaves raked up and chasing the squirrels away! He loved the birds that visited his yard, especially the Bluebirds which reminded him of Frances. He enjoyed antiques and Indian artwork as well as ‘classic country’ music artists which he had many albums and pictures that he was able to share with his friend and radio host of ‘Classic Country’ in Tahlequah, Ralph Lynch.
Jack was baptized in 1940 in the First Baptist Church of Muskogee. Jack and Frances joined the United Methodist Church in Tahlequah during the time of Frances’s illness. Frances’s grandfather, Rev. J.P. Morton was the founding pastor of Muskogee’s Trinity United Methodist Church shortly after statehood. Since Jack’s illness, he had rededicated his life to Jesus and was looking forward to seeing the love of his life, Frances, in Heaven!
Jack is survived by Caren and her husband Randy Macik of Matagorda, Texas, grandchildren Kevin, Matt and Kristen as well as 5 great- grandchildren. Also, daughter Lynn (Kit) and husband Jim Pitts of Dallas, Texas and grandchildren Brad, Gina, Jennifer and Megan as well as 9 great grandchildren.
The family also wants to thank all those, both family and friends, such as Ruth Cavanagh (Frances’s sister), Ralph Lynch, Tom & Teensie Eckert as well as Hope Hospice and Chaplain Bill Holcomb for their kindness and care that Jack received.
The service will be held at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery on Good Friday, April 18 at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Hope Hospice at 2913 Azalea Park Dr., Muskogee, Okla. 74401.