Jack was born in Greenbush, MN to Oscar and Helen Bjerk. He proudly served in the United States Navy. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Joyce and husband Melvin Jacobson. Jack is survived by his wife Pat; children, Melanie Lynn and husband Matt Whetzel, David Wayne Bjerk and wife Joy, Jonathan Wayne Bjerk and wife Valerie, and Michael Wayne Bjerk and wife Stacy; brothers, Roger Bjerk and wife Joyce and Terry Bjerk and wife Carol; grandchildren, Lauren, Top, Truett, Leilani, and Liv Mathews, Piper and Danica Bjerk, Nolan and Channing Bjerk, Ethan and Samantha Bjerk; step grandchildren, Luke, Abigail, Josiah, and Levi Whetzel; and many other family and friends.
Jack’s favorite career was as a pilot and flight instructor, and he was happiest while flying a plane. He always had a vegetable garden, and loved woodworking and bringing new life to cast-aside pieces. He taught his family how to fix what they had, rather than replacing it. He also taught them how to take care of things… and people. He was protective of his beloved wife, proud of his children, and overjoyed to be “Papa” to his grandchildren. He loved family reunions, poring over old photo albums, piecing together genealogies, celebrating family traditions and recounting shared memories. Most importantly, Jack loved Jesus. He passed on his beliefs to his children and grandchildren. He led a household of prayer. He recounted miracles he had seen in his life to almost everyone he met. He cared for and shared with people in need, assuring them that God is real. That gives his family the peace and confidence to know that he is now with his Saviour, reunited with loved ones.
Services to celebrate his life will be held at 10:00 AM, Friday, January 5, 2018 in the chapel of Buchanan Funeral Service with burial to follow at 2:00 PM at Ft. Sill National Cemetery.
The following is a posting on social media from his family upon his death:
Dad passed away Saturday afternoon, December 23, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. We appreciate everyone who prayed for and assisted in his final flight home.
“As we sing ‘Joy to the World’ I can’t help thinking
Of the joy that’s in his eyes right now.
And though our hearts still ache, we know that as we celebrate
He’s singing with the herald angels and heaven’s glowing on his face.
Now he’s home for Christmas, and now he’s home to stay.
He’s home for Christmas, and nothin’ could’ve kept him away.
He’ll be face to face with Jesus, as we celebrate His birth.
This gift will be worth more to him than anything on earth.
He’s home. He’s home for Christmas.”
Lyrics adapted from “Home for Christmas” by Steven Curtis Chapman