Jacqueline Merri Wildgen passed away on Good Friday April 19, 2019 in
Kalispell, MT. She was 90. Jackie is survived by three sons Mark, Jay and
Kevin, daughter Stasia, six grandchildren Kelsey, Kevin, Ali, Mariah, Blake
and Claire, one great grandchild Paisley, and her brother Jerry
Hanson. Born in Appleton Village, MN September 6, 1928, Jackie was the
eldest of three children born to Dr. Vernon M. and Birtha (Birdie) Hanson.
Jackie spent her childhood through high school years in Appleton until
attending the University of Minnesota where she followed the footsteps of
her father, a dentist, studying dental hygiene.
Jackie met her husband, John Jerome Wildgen while working at
Yellowstone Park’s Old Faithful Inn. Both Jackie and Jerry had summer
jobs there as they completed their schooling. While in Yellowstone, Jackie
and Jerry became life-long friends with the Goulds. This friendship resulted
in George and Jerry starting a career long Family Medicine practice in
Kalispell in 1954.
Jackie raised her family primarily in the home known as 691
Grandview. This property is now part of Flathead Valley Community
College. Jackie loved the college and is very happy to know that the home
where she lived much of her life is now a part of that institution.
Jackie’s primary passion was the church and its community. She stayed
involved in every aspect she could as a eucharistic minister, a youth
educator and most of all a devout parishioner.
Other passions of Jackie were an enthusiastic love for the outdoors, golf,
skiing and hiking. Glacier Park, to her, is one of God’s most wondrous
creations. Jackie knew most everything there is to know about the park and
served as a volunteer park ranger.
In 1986 an unfortunate ski injury on Big Mountain changed how Jackie
would enjoy those passions. Jackie persevered, learning a new golf swing
and doing all she could to remain mobile. Time changed her abilities, but
not her drive. On her 90th birthday Jackie ventured into Glacier Park with
her 4 children to once again share her appreciation for this beautiful
place. Glacier Park is the place where peace and serenity is abound.
Because of her love for the park, we will always have this magnificent
landmark to remind us of Jackie’s beauty, love and grace.
A rosary for Jackie will begin at 10 am Saturday May 4, followed by a
Memorial Mass at 11 am, both at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in
The family suggests memorial donations be made to either St. Matthew’s
Catholic Church or St Matthew’s School. Johnson-Gloschat Funeral Home and Crematory is caring for the family.