Jackie Lee Lair
Jackie Lee Lair, age 69, passed away Saturday, December 30, 2017, at his home surrounded by his family. He was a lifelong resident of Cooper, Texas, and the son of Logan and Ollie ‘Killebrew’ Lair. On Tuesday, January 2, 2018, his service at the Delta Funeral Home Chapel at Cooper will consist of: visitation at 10:00 a.m.; celebration of life at 11:00 a.m.; and interment at Oaklawn Cemetery following the service.
Jackie married the love of his life, Marcia Kay Gillean, on October 6, 1964. They were inseparable from their first date and started on a journey in life together that has lasted for fifty-three years, despite their teenage marriage.
Jackie worked at service stations, first at Bill Keller’s Fina Station on West Dallas and then Buck Vandiver’s Texaco Station on East Dallas. His next job was at The Cooper Review helping his cousin, Johnny Poteet, set type. Knowing he had to make more money than he was earning to support his wife and daughter, Tandee Lee, he went to Rockwell in Sulphur Springs, filled out an application and told them he had to have a job. He got one that very day. Later a son, James Eric, joined the little family, and in November of 1969, they moved from Hollis Williams’ rent house to their new home on East Dallas Avenue. In January 2017, the Cooper City Council renamed their street Logan Lane in honor of their grandson, Logan Ray Lair.
Jackie left Rockwell and went to work for East Texas State University (Texas A&M-Commerce) on a grounds crew, which he later supervised. Knowing in his heart that he wanted to have his own business, he opened Jackie’s Body Shop at his home. Eric was old enough to help, learning to paint cars. Jackie traded paint fumes for welding fumes and started J & E Welding and Machine Shop, a joint business with Eric. Before long, the business moved into a new building. They took on custom jobs, portable welding, but didn’t turn down the small jobs either. This was the work Jackie loved and looked forward to for thirty years. Folks still call him and ask if he will weld for them or tell them how to repair a welding machine even though he closed the shop several years ago. He has been the ‘go to’ man for farm equipment problems. He had an uncanny knack for understanding how things worked. While welding, he had started to buy land and cattle and tried to do both at the same time. Finally, raising cattle and improving the land became his most enjoyable and inspirational work of all. Considering himself a steward of the land, he always gave the Good Lord the credit for allowing him to purchase the land that connected to his property.
Jackie benefited his community well, serving on the Cooper Volunteer Fire Department for many years and on the Oaklawn Cemetery Board, most of those years as president. He also served as president of the Agriculture Advisory Board.
Jackie’s most memorable moment in life, however, was when he, Tandee and Eric were baptized on a night in December 1987 at the Cooper Church of Christ. His life changed when he obeyed the gospel message, putting him on a spiritual path. He has been a leader in the Church of Christ at Klondike for many years. Jackie has been a loving husband, father, and grandfather, providing for and guiding his family. There are no words that can describe the influence of this man on his family and friends.
Survivors include his wife, Marcia; daughter, Tandee Moody; son and daughter-in-law, Eric and Misty Lair; granddaughter Jayla Ann Lair, all of Cooper; grandson Michael Devin Criswell and special friend Susannah Wilson of Lewisville, Texas; niece Leah Lair Connor of Hopkins County and numerous cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Logan and Ollie ‘Killebrew’ Lair, brother James Arthur Lair, and grandson Logan Ray Lair.
Serving as pallbearers: Ted Alley, Curtis Braziel, Don Cauley, William Holmes, Carl McMillan, and Johnny Watkins.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Maroon and Gray Foundation, c/o First National Bank; the Delta County Public Library; or the Hope House all in Cooper.