Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Samuel Lincoln Jackson, 84

Samuel Lincoln Jackson, 84, passed away on June 11, 2024, surrounded by his family at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital after a fall at his home. Sam will be remembered for his deep love for his large family, especially for his dear wife of nearly 64 years, Rita, and an enormous pool of close friends. He truly never met a stranger.

Sam was born at home in a rural house near Boulder, MT, to Mary and George Jackson in April 1940, joining Phil, Mary Leila, Alvena, and Arcylle; they moved to Whitehall shortly after. Brothers Robert and Ed joined the family in the following years. Sam graduated from Whitehall High School in 1958, lettering in football; there were games in which he carried the ball 40 times. Sam was tough and determined throughout his life!

Sam and Rita have lived in the same Belgrade home for 42 years (after 20 years of living in Whitehall). They met in Sheridan, MT, at the local bowling alley where Rita had worked as a pinsetter. Sam wasn't too fond of bowling, but he started to come around more often once he met Rita. Soon after, they started dating and were married in August 1960, then raised five kids together. Sam was an excellent husband and father, very fair and compassionate with his family and friends.

Sam was a kind, people person, and most of his jobs and activities involved others. His main profession was with Darigold (for 33 years) where he delivered milk door-to-door, then ran a route out of Whitehall delivering to all the towns up the Madison Valley, through the Ruby Valley, and back through the Jefferson Valley. He later finished his time at Darigold working at a plant in Bozeman. After retiring in 1997, Sam and Rita bought a motorhome for camping, making trips to Georgia to see daughter Dana and family, several trips to Branson, and an annual trip to the Pyfer-Inabnit family reunion near Coeur d'Alene, ID.

Sam always had 2-3 part-time jobs over the years, including a 1,000-pig farm in the 70s, construction, welding, woodworking, cutting timber, driving the bus, janitoring, breaking horses, mechanic work, putting up hay, changing pipe, delivering firewood, seal coating driveways, tearing down old buildings, not to mention the always "get dressed, we are going to help a guy with _____" (fill in the blank). He came from an era where you rarely paid for work. Guys would help each other out by using their skills and talents to trade work with each other. Most of the part-time jobs included teaching his boys the discipline of hard work. In his mind, everything was "figureoutable," and he was fearless about tearing things apart, fixing them, and putting them back together. Many of his peers have said Sam was the hardest-working man they knew. He also served several years on the Whitehall school board. Sam was constantly busy with family or working (often, it was combined). If he was resting, he was sleeping. When awake, Sam was on the go, spending most of his time productively.

Sam was preceded in death by his grandson Tyler Jackson; great-grandson Cashton Erickson; parents George and Mary Jackson; brother Phil Jackson; brother-in-law Doug Shaw; sisters Alvena Critchfield and Mary Leila (Carl) Martin; and sister-in-law Darlene Jackson.

Sam's survivors include his wife, Rita; children, Jeff (Susan) Jackson, Troy (Tammy Kaario) Jackson, Jody (Chad) Cameron, Dana Jackson, and Chad Jackson; thirteen grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; his brother-in-law, Carl Martin; sister Arcylle (Doug) Shaw; and brothers Robert (Linda) Jackson and Ed (Darlene) Jackson.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 22, at 2 PM in the chapel at Grace Bible Church (3625 S. 19th Avenue, Bozeman, MT).

In lieu of flowers, donations in Sam's honor may be made to The Belgrade Senior Center, 92 E. Cameron Ave, Belgrade, MT 59714 (

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.


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