Jack Kannady Jr., 81, passed away peacefully in his home November 14, 2021. He was born in El Paso, Texas to Jack and Evelyn Kannady. They moved to Van Horn, TX for 2 years, Bisbee, AZ for 4 years, back to El Paso, TX for 8 years, Carlsbad, NM for 2 years and then to Ruidoso, NM.
He attended NMMI in his Junior Year. After his Senior year he joined the Navy “Seabees” for 3 years becoming Chief Petty Officer in his first year. He played football all of his high school years and in his Senior year was in the All-State Team and the All-Southern Team. He was a lifeguard for his high school years and Navy years. He was in Boy Scouts and moved to Explorer Scouts where he participated in a Canadian Canoe trip which started in Minnesota and went all over Canada. While in Carlsbad he was President of the Southeast Region Methodist Youth Fellowship and also earned his God and Country award in scouting.
While in the Navy he met Judy, his loving wife of 50 years. After knowing her one month he proposed to her and they married at the Methodist Church in Ruidoso on October 25, 1959. After finishing his time in the Navy, they moved to Las Cruces NM where he earned his drafting degree. They then moved to Ruidoso and lived their lives out on this mountain with their 2 children and their other family members.
In Jack’s lifetime he did many things. At the age of 58 he got his Associates of Arts Degree and in his early 60’s his Bachelors in Accounting. He was also an instructor at ENMU for 11 years. He was a school bus contractor for 27 years on “Bus # 7”. He worked with his father at Kannady Engineering through the years surveying and drafting maps.
He managed Holiday Bowl for 5 years and Ruidoso Bowling Center for 2 years. He was a member of the Professional Bowlers Association for 22 years and continued to bowl in leagues through 2018. He Bowled several 300 games over those years.
He was a Ruidoso Volunteer Firefighter for 17 years spending 2 of those as fire chief. He organized and formed the Ruidoso Hot Shot Crew which joined the Smokey Bear Hot Shot Crew about a year later. When he stopped wildland firefighting, he went on to drive fire crews with Expeditors Fire Support Services for 10 years.
Mixed in with all of this over the years he helped organize the Ruidoso Little League Football Team and coached them for a few years. He owned a laundromat for 2 years. He had a yard and landscaping service along with cutting and selling firewood for several years.
He was an avid Dallas Cowboys fan and loved hunting and fishing.
He (re)met his second wife Lillie Smith in 2010 and they married on September 10. 2011 in Ruidoso. They enjoyed a fun and loving marriage together and made some great memories. With this marriage he also added a lot of family members and was known as Papa Jack by all of them.
He said many times if you are knocked down by life do what you have to and get back up, live as fully as you can as you never know how long you have. He would expect us all to get back to life, enjoy it as much as possible and remember the good times you shared....
Through his first marriage he was preceded in death by his wife Judy, his parents Jack and Evelyn, his brother Jerry, his son Kyle, his Granddaughter Jessica and his Nephew Yank.
He is survived by his daughter Kimberly, his Grandson Joshua, his Great Grandson Syler, his Neice Michelle, Grand Nieces Ariel and Adria and his Grand Nephew Aaron.
Through his second marriage he is preceded in death by his wife Lillie and his Step daughter Billie Stricker.
He is survived by his Step Son William Stricker, William and Billie's Children and Grand Children Shawnee and Keith Bilbrey, their children Jesselee and Aiden. Tomeika Brown Scruby and Reed Scruby, Tomeika's children Rayven, Taylor and Kayden Brown. Tasha and Jason Bradley, their children Hunter. Fisher. Tanner and Cami. Step Son Rod and Donna Smith, their children Traven Smith and Callie and Dustin Simmons, their children Ethan and Bodie.
His service will be Sunday, December 12, at 3:00 P.M. in Community United Methodist Church in Ruidoso.