Jack was born in Toronto and moved with his parents Jack and Florence Young, along with sister Nancy, to Summerland in 1949. He left Summerland for Vancouver in 1955, married Yvonne Saucier and welcomed his son Ken into the world in 1957. Jack and Yvonne separated and Jack moved back to Summerland in 1960 where he spent the rest of his life on the property he purchased on South Prairie Valley Road (now Dale Meadows). Everything that is on the property today, was built by Jack.
In 1962 Jack met Doreen and her daughter Lori. Jack and Doreen were married November 11th, 1966. Doreen always kidded him that they were married on ‘Remembrance Day’ so he could never forget their anniversary!. He adopted Lori shortly after they were married.
Jack worked at Cornwall Cannery for many years, then Barkwill's Cannery and then B.C. Fruit Packers until he retired. Jack was such a practical joker. There are many tales that could be told about that, by friends and co-workers!
Jack’s love of horses was evident when at 14 years old he rode away on his bike and rode back home on a horse. A "new" bike his sister Nancy says. Yes, apparently a bike was a good ‘trade’ for a horse back then! In 1960, with his property fenced and a small cottage to live in he started chasing down wild horses, breaking, training and selling them. He was well known by many members of the PIB as ‘Red’ and spent many hours riding and trading horses and learning many of his ‘Cowboy’ skills from his friends. Jack had several stud horses over the years and bred his own mares and others. He eventually started raising Paint horses. He enjoyed raising the foals and then breaking and training them. He was thrilled to be able to have Lori ride with him and learn to barrel race as well as haul her around to gymkhana events. He was a popular choice to be the ‘Trail Master’ on many of the Summerland Trail Riders’ rides. After all, he knew the entire Summerland/Penticton/Peachland areas like the back of his hand. And it also could have been that his dry wit and sense of humour kept everyone entertained! In 1980 he was asked by a friend “why don’t you put on a rodeo”? So, he did!!! In 1980 Jack and Doreen along with other Summerland Trail Rider members organized what was deemed a must attend event for 10 years. Jack was Rodeo Chairman from 1980 to 1989 and loved every minute of it. What an absolute awesome event that Rodeo was for thousands of spectators and participants. Not to mention the Rodeo Dance in the arena that was sold out for all 10 years. Jack being good with animals was asked to be the ‘Large Animal Pound Keeper’ – oh my, the stories he could spin about picking up Horses/Cattle/Goats/Ostriches/ and even being called to pick up a Moose (which he declined as it was a little beyond the scope ‘large animal’.
Jack loved to spend time with his grandsons and watched them grow into fine young men. Darren and Colin were always there to lend a helping hand. Jack particularly was pleased when the boys brought their partners into his life. Colin and Kierstin presented Jack with a great grandson in 2011. Brayden kept Jack entertained and was the apple of his eye. When Darren introduced Jack to Kyli, he was thrilled to have a horse lover/barrel racer in his life again. Jack once asked Kyli if she knew why barrel racers were cremated. As she shrugged her shoulders he said “Because the ground is never good enough for them”! Which became a standing joke between them.
He is sadly missed by his wife of 54 years, Doreen, Daughter Lori Wertz, Son Ken Young (New Westminster), Sister Nancy Johnston, Niece Jennifer Johnston (Tim Reinert) (Vancouver), Grandsons Darren Wertz (Kyli Haugland) and Colin Wertz (Kierstin Derosier) and Great Grandson, Brayden Wertz (the little boy who stole Jack’s heart).
Sit tall in the saddle and hold your head up high.
Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky,
And live like you ain’t afraid to die.
Don’t be scared....just enjoy the ride!
No funeral service at the request of the family. In lieu of flowers please donate to a charity of your choice.
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