Jack Marvin Bartholomew, beloved husband, patriarch, evangelical pastor, gentleman, and cowboy lived each day with courage. Jack took that last dance with his sweetheart of 65 years to the music of E.Tubbs “Waltz Across Texas” before he quietly stepped into paradise August 16th. He was 88 years old.
Jack was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He graduated from Climax-Scotts High School in June of 1951. Almost immediately after his graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy where he was stationed on the USS SARSFIELD (EDD 837). He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. When Jack returned to civilian life, he was employed by the Battle Creek Fire Department. He was the 5th generation firefighter in his family.
Jack lassoed his “favorite girl” Mildred, and they were married in June of 1956 at the Scotts United Methodist Church in Scotts, Michigan. Jack and Millie built their home, Rockin’ B Ranch, on farmland in Scotts where they raised four children for many years: Scot (Susan) Bartholomew of Allen, Texas; Tim (Beth) Bartholomew of Houston, Texas; Nancy (Ridge) Seitz of Reese, Michigan; Carla (Chris) Jackson of Saranac, Michigan. Jack graduated from West Michigan University in 1974. He then hung up his spurs to attend Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky from 1974 until his graduation in 1978.
As Pastor, Jack served in several United Methodist churches including Quincy/Fisher Hill, Elk Rapids/Kewadin, Hastings: Hope, Lansing Calvary, and Stanwood: Northland before retiring in 1995 and moving to Ionia, Michigan. During retirement he studied woodcarving for several years and created many stunning carved treasures. Although retired from the church he never stopped riding for the brand; he was forever fervent in his faith and ministry.
Storyteller extraordinaire, Jack shared his love of cowboy lore and adventure with tales, poetry, jokes, and exquisite stories from his own life’s adventures. Genuine in every way, Jack lived deliberately and often referred to the 10 Cowboy Ethics by James P. Owen. Jack lived that way near as a man could. He was so very proud and passionate for his grandchildren and their little buckaroos: Casey (Chris) Minette, Parker, and Frankie; Chris (Kay) Bartholomew and babies; Katie Allbaugh; Ethan Lee; Travis Bartholomew; Jake Bartholomew; Jordan (Brooke) Seitz, Archer, August, Atlas, and baby; Danielle (Andrew) Rupp, Colt and Forest; Chris (Rona) Jackson, Aidan, Destiny and Paul; Boone Jackson; Levi Jackson; Aubrey Jackson. He shared so many words of wisdom. And as he left this rodeo, he still shared who he was: Joyful. Strong. Confident. Wise. Healed. Forgiven. Cowboy.
A private family gathering will be held at a later date. Donations can be made to
Starfysh, 6757 Cascade Rd. SE #207, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.
Condolences may be sent to:
1133 Yeomans Street, Lot 96
Ionia, MI 48846