John Wheeler “Jack” Albin, 86, passed away on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at his home in Billings. He was born on June 9, 1925, the youngest of 9 children to B.R. and Mary C. Albin (nee Dunlevy) in Billings. He attended Fratt School and graduated from Billings Senior High School in 1943.
Jack served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-1945 and then attended Montana State College before returning to Billings. He worked for the W.B. Fuller Paint Company a short time before joining his father at the Hart-Albin Company in 1949. His career lasted at the Hart-Albin Company until its closing in 1990. He went on to work at JGA Architects in 1991, retiring in 1999.
He served as President of the Billings Rotary Club and Hilands Golf Club. He was a Director of NILE, a member of the Billings Optimist Club and a St. Vincent’s Hospital Volunteer.
He married Andrea Hulteng and together they raised four children. He later married Jo Ann Harvey and in 2010 they celebrated their 37th anniversary.
Jack is survived by his wife Jo Ann of Billings; daughters, Cathy (Dan) Wiltgen of Red Lodge; Kerry (Lonnie) Charleson of Mission Viejo, CA and Karen (Bob) Betschart of Portland, OR; and stepson Scott (Katie) Harvey of Bozeman, MT. Also surviving are grandchildren Lonnie, Todd and Andrew Charleson, Lauren and Kate Betschart, Hayden and Fletcher Harvey, Andrea (George) Doulamis and Blake Mocabee and family and a whole bunch of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; all of his brothers and sisters; his first wife Andrea; son and daughter-in-law David and Candy; and stepdaughter, Susan Harvey.
Jack could tell a story like no other and especially made the history of Billings very colorful. The family wishes to thank Riverstone Hospice for the exceptional care he received these last two months.
Cremation has taken place. A service will be held at American Lutheran Church on Wednesday, July 27 at 10:00 a.m. followed by a reception at the church. In lieu of flowers, should friends desire a memorial, contributions can be made to Riverstone Hospice, P.O. Box 1562, Billings, MT 59103 or the charity of your choice.
I worked with Jack at JGA Architects. I loved to talk about just about anything with Jack. He had a great sense of humor and I never remember hearing him complain about anything in life. He was always positive and loved to talk about golf, even when he couldn’t play it himself anymore. All of us could take a lesson form Jack when it comes to being thankful and appreciating life. He was a pleasure to be around.
Dear Jo and Family,
The article in the paper was so beautifully written.
But I was so sorry to read of Jack’s death. He was always so welcoming to me in the store, that beautiful store.
I was so fortunate to have attended the PEO meeting when he gave his great history talk on Billings. I think of it often.
You all have my heartfelt sympathy at this time.
I love you Grandpa! You will forever be missed. Have fun playing golf again:)
My condolences to you and family. I know my name is unfamiliar to you, but I knew and was friends with Jack at Fratt School and knew his folks and some family when they loved on Lewis Avenue (or maybe it was Clark?). The last time I visited with Jack was in the 90’s when he was in the accounting office at The Hart-Albin store. We had many good times together. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Sincerly, Donald M. Rees
I believe I only met Jack once, but Andrea Hulteng was my first cousin, so would like to send my sympathies to the family. Andrea’s mom and my mom were sisters and very close. They had a lot of fun when they got together in Grand Forks where my grandparents lived. I still remember hearing about Andrea’s tragic death and then Jack’s misfortune with an elk. I certainly enjoyed reading the wonderful story of the Albin store in Billings written back in 2007, which a mutual friend sent to me. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family and I sure wish that I could have gotten to know Jack. What a wonderful person he must have been. With best regards, Tom Will