Jack Robert Koon, 70, passed away on Saturday, March 19, 2016, at his home in Payson. A celebration of Jack’s life will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 2, at the Payson High School auditorium. Please dress casually. A potluck will follow immediately after the services in the courtyard outside the auditorium.
He was born in Holtville, Calif., on Sept. 7, 1945, to Hallie and Jack Koon Sr.
Jack grew up in Brawley, Calif., and was a star football and baseball player at Brawley High School. Following his graduation in 1963, Jack moved to Flagstaff and attended Arizona State College, now known as Northern Arizona University. He was a proud member of the Sigma Phi Fraternity.
He was drafted into the United States Army in 1969, where he served a tour of duty in Viet Nam as a member of the Ranger 101st Airborne. He was awarded a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star with a “V” for bravery in action.
He went to work for Golden Eagle Distributing and moved to Holbrook, where he worked in sales for the company. Jack was fondly referred to as the “Bud Man.”
Payson became Jack’s home in 1988. He met and married the love of his life, Sandee, in 1989.
Jack started working for the Payson Unified School District in the early nineties. His love for the military and patriotism led to him being a regular speaker to students at Rim Country Middle School and Payson High regarding his experience in Viet Nam. He was highly respected by the students and as a result of his presentations, many students would come up to him and say, “Mr. Koon, after listening to you speak, I have decided to join the military to serve and protect our country, too.”
His love for sports led to his involvement and sponsorship of adult softball teams. He played men’s and co-ed softball, as well as coaching a women’s team.
Jack was very active with the Mogollon Sporting Association, and worked tirelessly to raise funds for wildlife conservation and youth athletic programs in the Payson area.
He was a volunteer in the true sense of the word. He was always offering his help to any organization or individual in need. True to his spirit of service and helping others, he was an organ donor. Those who know and love him realize what a gift he has given even in death. That was how Jack “rolled.” His spirit will live on as a donor, as well as in the amazing memories he has given us all.
Jack was loved by his entire family including his wife, Sandee; children, Josh (Lori) Koon of Mesa, Jed (Becki) Koon of Holbrook, Michael Fain of Payson and Brandy Fain of Mesa; and his sister, Ann Graham (Cliff) of Cathedral City, Calif. He doted on the grandchildren, Taylor, Brittnee, Liberty, Stratton, Rainy, Sheridan and Rumor.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Mogollon Sporting Association, P.O. Box 1662, Payson, Ariz. 85541.