Montana dog mushing legend Jack (John) H. Beckstrom, 64, of Olney died unexpectedly.
Jack Beckstrom was born on April 20 in Tinley Park, Illinois, the son of Marge and Howard Beckstrom.
He graduated from the University of Idaho in 1975 with a B.A. Animal Science. He worked on ranches in Idaho and Montana in the early to mid-70s.
In 1976, after moving to Montana, he took over the dogsled building business after Lee Fishback passed away. Eventually he bought the ZIMA Harness Company from Lee Fishback’s wife, Mel and a new company was birthed. Adanac Sleds and Equipment grew to become an international .com, web-based business. He also owned and operated Adanac Kennels, a boarding kennel near Kalispell, for many years.
Jack competed in the Governor’s Cup 500 Mile Sled Dog Race multiple times. He race marshaled the Altitude 500 Sled Dog Race twice in Australia along with races in Canada, California and Montana and competed in races in Minnesota, Canada, Washington, Idaho and Montana.
Adanac Sleds and Equipment supplied equipment and sleds in movies such as Iron Will, Eight Below, Call of the Wild 3D, Marmaduke and the 6-part National Geographic mini-series Klondike 1897. He and wife, Pam, wrote articles for an online magazine and he was featured on the cover of Mushing Magazine for his dedication to the sport of sled dog racing.
He was active in Men’s Ministries and was an elder and deacon at Whitefish Assembly. He was an original founder of the Race to the Sky, a board chairman for many years and a member of the Montana Mountain Mushers.
Beckstrom was preceded in death by his father, Howard and his mother, Marge. He is survived by his spouse, Pam, stepchildren, Geoff and Lauren Otto; granddaughter, Madison; sister, Mary Jo Gowing; brother, Tom Beckstrom; sister, Ann; and brother, Rob Beckstrom and numerous nieces and nephews.
Jack loved sled dogs, dog mushing and being with people. He loved to share his faith, was kind, loving and had a great sense of humor. He was always a free spirit.
The Celebration Service will be Saturday, March 17 at 2:00 p.m. at Whitefish Assembly, 150 Lamb Lane, Whitefish, Montana. Austin Funeral & Cremation Services in Whitefish is caring for the family.