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Jacqueline 'Jackie' Jean Fisher

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, at the age of 96, Jacqueline "Jackie" Jean (Dartman) Fisher passed away at her son's home in Stevensville, Mont. Born on May 9, 1927, in Hinsdale, Mont., Jackie was the seventh of 10 children born to John and Ella (Hatton) Dartman.

Jackie spent her childhood "up north," in the small homesteading community of Genevieve. She attended school in a one-room schoolhouse, Hatton School; adventured through the prairie's wildflowers, picking chokecherries and buffalo berries; and helped on the family's farm, tending to their many animals.

In 1934, when the Dartman family's older children began entering high school, they moved to "the river house," a log house on the Milk River two miles north of Hinsdale, where Jackie's father raised sugar beets and would later become a mail carrier. In the fall of 1938, when Jackie was 11, they moved to Hinsdale. One year later, they moved into a house that remains, to this day, in the Dartman family.

Jackie attended Hinsdale High School and graduated in 1945, the valedictorian of her graduating class, alongside her older sister, Ella Mae. Jackie left Hinsdale for Havre, Mont., to attend Northern Montana College (now MSU-Northern). In 1946, she and Ella Mae moved to and lived together in Helena, Mont., followed two years later by their brother Tom.

Jackie met her husband, Roland "Rollie" Fisher, in 1947, and the two married on June 18, 1949. Their growing family moved between Butte, Great Falls, and Helena to accommodate Rollie's transfers within Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph before settling in Helena in 1963. With the help of friends, they built a house in Montana City in the winter of 1975, where they lived until 2002.

Following their final move back to Helena, Jackie became a secretary in the finance office at Helena High School, a role she held through 1965. She joined the staff at St. Peter's Hospital in Helena in 1969 as an administrative secretary, working for multiple CEOs and retiring 20 years later in 1989. She would spend her retirement chasing her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, refinishing furniture found at garage sales, experimenting with new recipes, sewing and mending, and caring for her mother.

She was a caregiver in a very literal sense-she helped care for her parents and siblings as their bodies aged-but she also lived her life by an ethics of care, always putting others' comfort, hunger, and well-being first. She spent her life nurturing and foregrounding her relationships with others, believing above all else in the importance of family and friends (and in the healing powers of home-baked caramels and sugar cookies, made with lots and lots of butter).

Jackie was community-minded throughout her life: Rollie's service within Helena's Algeria Shrine Temple prompted her to join the Daughters of the Nile, an organization also in service to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, and she was a longtime, active member of St. Paul's United Methodist Church.

Like her siblings, Jackie was a storyteller, always eager to reminisce, punctuating her stories with idioms and aphorisms that would come to define her, phrases and songs her family won't soon forget: "I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!" She was kind, more than a bit fiery, and quick to laugh; she snorted when she laughed, which only made her laugh harder. For Jackie, cleanliness was next to godliness, and she was her most vibrant self with a new perm and freshly painted fingernails.

Jackie was preceded in death by her husband, Roland; her daughter, Jane; her sisters, Adele, Helen, Betty, Lorraine, and Ella Mae; her brothers, Jack, Tom, and Bob; her nieces, Sandra Lynn and Sandra Suzette; and her nephews, Joshua Miles and Thomas Lyttleton, Jr.

She is survived by her sister Beverly Scanson, of Great Falls; her sons, John (Lynda) Fisher, of Stevensville, and Jim (Marcy) Fisher, of Frenchtown, Mont .; seven grandchildren-Cale (Judie) Fisher, of Stevensville, Tyler (Joanne) Fisher, of Brisbane, Australia, Whitney (Tres) Reed, of Cape Girardeau, Mo., Lauren Korn (Colin Johnson), of Missoula, Alicia (J.T.) Crepps, of Missoula, Brennan (Mackenzie) Fisher, of Dickinson, N.D., and Logan Fisher, of Missoula; and six great-grandchildren, Roland, Oliver, Amelia, Bruce, Lemmy, and Evelyn. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews and their children, all of whom Jackie adored.

As a friend wrote of Jackie's passing on Valentine's Day, "It is so fitting that a woman so full of love would pass on to the next life on a day dedicated to love." Our joyful, curly-haired Jackie, nicknamed "Rooster," "Jackie Jean (ate a bean)," "Jack," and "GG," will be sorely missed but remembered for her unwavering humor, infectious laughter, and fierce care.

Honoring her request, a formal funeral will not take place, but a celebration of Jackie's life will be held for friends and family at a later date this spring.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Helena, and remembrances and condolences can be left on the Whitesitt Funeral Home website:


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