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MISSOULA - Lt. Col. (Ret.) Joey Alexander Jasperson, 62, passed away peacefully in his favorite chair Friday, Feb. 20, 2009.

He was born in Missoula, March 21, 1946, to Johanna and Dale Jasperson. Joey grew up on Missoula’s Northside and graduated from Missoula County High School in 1964. He was also a graduate of the University of Montana and the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Joey had a very extensive career with U.S. Army to which he served with great honor. He was a member of the 101st Airborne Division. From 1969-1979, he served with the Montana National Guard 5th Battalion 19th Special Forces. He remained with the Montana National Guard and in 1989 was appointed director of Counter Drug Operation, a position he held until 1997 when he retired as lieutenant colonel. Working as counter drug coordinator was the highlight of Joey’s military career, although he was also very proud to have been a Green Berets, a master parachuter, trained combat medic and dental specialist.

Joey’s civilian career was also very extensive. He tended bar at the Florence Lounge in Missoula from 1964-1967. He was a sales executive and general sales manager for Alan G. Holmes Inc. from 1973-1979. He continued to sell cars and RVs from a number of dealerships in Missoula, including Rangitsch Brothers, Grizzly Auto and University Motors. He retired from University Motors in fall 2007.

Joey married Janet Rangitsch on Feb. 12, 1972. They were married 13 years and had four children. Although their marriage ended, they remained close friends and participated in the lives of their children and grandchildren. He was very proud of his children and the lives they had made for themselves and looked forward to watching his grandchildren grow up. He loved fixing lunches for Shoshonne and the boys. He spoke fondly of the time Jacy praised him for “making the best hot dog ever.” He enjoyed watching Shoshonne’s ballet recitals and attending Aidan’s guitar concerts and most recently Jacy and Aidan’s little league games. He was looking forward to watching the new grandbabies grow up as well.

He loved many activities, including golf and looked forward to the annual Jasperson golf tourney. He was an avid Griz fan and attended many games. Joey also enjoyed playing darts with his “little buddies” (as grandma Jo used to say). He was a man of many interests, including history, astronomy and politics.

Joey is preceded in death by his father, Dale; mother Johanna; sister Alice; and brother Gene.

He is survived by his children, Joel (Claire), Jennifer (Joel) Adams, Jana and Sara (Mark) English; five brothers, Greg (Betty), Don (Cathy), Robert (Diane), January (Holly) and Tim (Dolly); his six sisters, Linda (Jim) Wells, Donna (Tom) Bedient, Sherry (Mike) Bessette, Cindy (Will) Schmidling and Hannah Zentner. He is also survived by his six grandchildren, Aidan, Alex, Shoshonne, Jacy, Miles and Jasmine; Alice’s daughter, Tracy (Mike) Schlauch, numerous nieces and nephews and many dear friends including Sonny Gratzer, Tom Elliot and Ann Baker.

We are very grateful for the special care he received from Dr. Murney and the VA clinic and the staff at the Montana Cancer Center. He spoke very highly of them.

Joey was a great man whose love touched the lives of many people, and whose faith remained strong throughout his battle with cancer. He will be dearly missed.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 27, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Inurnment for family and close friends will be at the Western Montana Veterans Cemetery, 1911 Tower Road, immediately following Mass and a reception will be held at 12:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge.

Memorials are suggested by the family to go to the Montana Cancer Center Fund, www.stpatsfoundation.org.


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