Gold – Jack Cunningham ~ Oct. 14, 1945 – Aug. 12, 2016
Jack Cunningham Gold passed away suddenly at his home in Medicine Hat, Alta., at the age of 70 years. Jack is survived by his wife Audrey, his sons Jack Jr. (Bobbi Jo) and their children Jayleene, Jeanna, Jaida and Journey; Justin (Ashley) and their children Ally and Jaxin; sisters Doreen (Gordon) Bacon, Donna (Eddy) Goehring, Joan Kuntz; sister-in-law Charlotte (Pat) Senger and nieces Erin Hughes, Hayley Dow, Michelle Sebastian, Carol Rawlings and nephews Mike and Grant Shapley, Ryan Kaglea, Tyler and Curtis Goehring, Vance and Grant Kaglea, Dan and Pat Senger Jr. Jack was predeceased by his parents Martha and Allen Gold, his brother Donnie Gold, brothers-in-law Merlin Shapley and Keith Kuntz, nephews Scott Shapley and Brent Kaglea, his in-laws Neta and George McKenzie and several uncles, aunts and cousins. Jack was born Oct. 14, 1945 to Martha and Allen in Maple Creek. As a child, he enjoyed spending time on the family ranch with his brother and sisters, swimming in the dugout, skating on the frozen slough and riding his bike up and down the road with his cat Puddy draped over his shoulder. Jack’s soft spot for animals remained with him for his entire life and he had several favourite cats that he spoiled.
Jack was fortunate to grow up in a small town so all his school years were shared with the same friends he kept in touch with all his life. One of his closest friends introduced him to a girl who had recently moved to Maple Creek in 1966 and after a longer courtship than she wanted, Jack and Audrey eventually married on June 19, 1970. They were married at the Knox United Church in Calgary with a small ceremony composed of the minister, his wife and two good friends attending as best man and bridesmaid. Their honeymoon destination was heading to the USA where Jack worked as a derrick hand on an oil rig for a year until returning home again. They welcomed their first son, Jack Matthew, on July 15, 1971 and Justin Donald arrived in a hurry on June 10, 1974. Together they raised their sons to be hard workers and were proud of their devotion to their own families and all their successes. In 1998, Jack met his first grandchild Jayleene and over the next few years Jeanna, Jaida and Journey completed Jack Jr. and Bobbi Jo’s family. In 2011, Justin and Ashley welcomed daughter Ally and this totaled 5 granddaughters until 2015 when they had a son, Jaxin, that Papa taught to throw a ball.
Jack enjoyed a number of jobs over the years, working on oil rigs in Texas with a number of friends from Maple Creek and eventually took over the family ranch. Since he had married a city girl, he taught her what brandings were all about and which cow was soon to calve. He would tell Audrey that if she wanted to go riding, she should learn how to saddle up properly herself. However, he always caught his horse, Jane, and bridled and saddled her with no complaints. For many years he worked along side his brother-in-law Keith Kuntz at J.R. Kuntz Livestock Transport hauling cattle and Maple Creek Auction Ring sorting them. He spent a year in Whitehorse employed by Yukon-Alaska transporting ore by truck to Skagway, Alaska. He enjoyed the openness and solitude of the North so much that years later he made trips back several times to see its beauty. When moving to Calgary he drove for Holiday Transport Ltd., delivering propane and anhydrous ammonia for farmers’ fields and he made long lasting friendships with the owner and all the other drivers. When moving to Medicine Hat, he made a point to occasionally make the long drive back to visit them and return the same day. He purchased his ’93 Kenworth from Holiday Transport with a 007 paint scheme that his boss’s entire fleet of trucks had. He incorporated his own business, Bojack Transport Ltd., and kept his new truck busy and in perfect condition spending many hours washing it and polishing wheels. It still looks brand new after he put more than a million miles on it.
Jack owned a Cessna 175 and enjoyed flying local cowboys to rodeos where there were no landing strips often making landings as exciting as the rodeo itself. He was a member of the Maple Creek Flying Club and was so engrossed in the meetings with his fellow pilots that he always seemed to return home very late in the evening. He played hockey for the Maple Creek Oldtimers Sweat Hogs and always wished he could have contributed more goals whether the games were just for fun or not. His favourite pastime was playing pool with his newfound Medicine Hat friends while mornings were reserved for his coffee buddies at Brier Park Diner and the Truck Stop. The last few years, he looked forward to the monthly lunch get-togethers of old friends from his home town of Maple Creek. He always had stories to tell Audrey when he came home about a friend he had not seen for years.
Jack liked airplanes, semi trucks, to take long drives to view the countryside he grew up in, playing billiards with friends and telling interesting stories at the shop while watching the young guys fix the trucks. No matter how good the conversation, Jack always made sure to be home in time for lunch with Audrey, as she would be phoning to check up on him. But what gave him the most pleasure was seeing his family grow and spending time with the grandkids, watching them skate, play basketball or soccer or simply cuddling while watching cartoons and eating chocolate ice cream cones.
Jack was diagnosed at 60 years of age, but did not dwell on his cancer and never criticized his doctor’s decision on treatment. Whenever Audrey asked how he felt, he would answer “good” with a smile, whether true or not and that is just one of the many qualities we will remember of him. We are so thankful he did not suffer and was his happiest towards the end of his life. We thank all family and friends who attended Jack’s funeral and to those who were unable we know you cared and will miss his smile and friendly greeting. He was always there for us with good advice and endless support. We will miss his daily presence in our lives and he will always be in our conversations and in our hearts.
A United Church Service was held on Aug. 18, 2016 at 2 p.m. at the Maple Creek Armoury with Eleanor Bowie officiating. Interment, Maple Creek Cemetery. Pallbearers, Mike and Grant Shapley, Tyler and Curtis Goehring, Ryan Kaglea, Jerry Frey. Honorary Pallbearers, Erin Hughes and Hayley Dow.
Binkley’s Funeral Maple Creek and Leader is in charge of arrangements 306-662-2292, http://www.binkleysfuneralservice.com In Memory of Jack, donations may be made to the Alberta Childrens’ Hospital Foundation: 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, Alta., T3B 6A8 Toll Free call 1-877-715-KIDS (5437).