John Robert Padon, Jr., ‘Jack’
John Robert Padon, Jr., “Jack,” 71, of Billings, died after a courageous battle with cancer, on Nov. 8, 2021, at his home, with his family by his side.
He was born on Sept. 28, 1950, to Jack Padon, Sr. and Charlotte White Padon in Billings, the first of nine children.
Jack attended the Billings Catholic School system, the Assumption Abbey of Richardton, North Dakota, and graduated from Billings Central Catholic High School in 1969. He studied at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and spent a semester abroad in Florence, Italy, during which time he was affectionately and appropriately known as “Tiger.” Following his graduation, he attended Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary in Saint Benedict, Oregon.
He married Nancy Vanover on June 30, 1979. Together, they had two daughters, Alisa and Keri, whom he called “the joys of his life.” They made their home in Billings, where Jack worked in the oil and gas industry. He and Nancy were married until 1996.
Jack married his great love, Philomina Bracy, on Jan. 27, 2015. Together, they made countless memories, traveled the world, and faced Jack’s final struggle side by side.
Jack was a deeply spiritual person whose Catholic faith stirred him to champion advocacy for the underprivileged and the marginalized. With humility and joy, he provided his time and talent to those in need. Every week for years, he volunteered at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Billings Clinic as a Eucharistic Minister and served on the Board of Directors for St. Vincent de Paul, carrying on the legacy of his father. Jack also served on the Boards of the Boys and Girls Club and the Billings Petroleum Club.
Ever a kid at heart, Jack welcomed the marvels and outdoor adventures every season promised. Truly a talented athlete, Jack skied, golfed, cycled, hunted, and tested the limits of gravity with crowd-pleasing, death-defying backflips off cliffs or train trestles. More than anything, Jack drew people in, and all felt welcomed. His gift of storytelling, his quick and ready laugh, and his care in holding friendships, family and faith as the pinnacles of purpose were his true north. His warmth, inclusion of others, excitement for learning and pure joy-in-the-journey were contagious to all. And, truth be told, his favorite season was Gonzaga’s basketball season (go Zags!).
Preceding him in death was his father, Jack Padon, Sr.; mother, Charlotte White Padon; and brother, Danny Padon. He is survived by his wife, Philomina Bracy; his daughters, Alisa Padon (Brandon Silverman) and Keri Padon; his stepsons, Mark Davalos, Zak Bracy and Sawyer Bracy (Kathryn); his grandchildren, Caleb and Daniel Silverman, Emilio Davalos, and Gage and Nolan Martin; his siblings, Dick Padon (Jerri Eppler), Cappy Moore (Jeff), Pam Wittman (Kurt), David Padon (Cece), Kevin Padon (Kellyann), Pat Padon (Holly) and Mary Rogers (Darren); and 31 nieces and nephews.
Vigil services will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 22, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, and the funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 23, also at St. Thomas, 2055 Woody Drive, Billings.
Memorials are encouraged to be made to the Boys & Girls Club of Yellowstone County or St. Vincent de Paul.