John ‘Jack’ Dudley Stillinger

Stillinger Enlargephoto


John “Jack” Dudley Stillinger, born Sept. 18, 1949, died July 6, 2012 In Cordoba, Spain after a brief illness while vacationing with his beloved wife, Dorothy Snowball. Born in El Paso, Texas to Dudley and Lucille (Henderson) Stillinger, Jack was raised in Tormey, Contra Costa County, Calif. Jack attended John Swett High School in Crockett, Calif. and graduated from University of California, Davis with a degree in psychology. In 1966, under the name of Lights by City Slum, Jack started doing light shows for Big Brother and the Holding Company and other Bay Area bands. Just a couple of years ago he had the pleasure of meeting some of the original band members again and being their tour guide to Mesa Verde National Park when they performed at a local venue.

As a teenager, Jack had learned jewelry-making and lost wax casting in Port Costa, Calif. and was a street vendor in Berkeley, Calif. He got GIA certification as a gemologist while living in Lyons, Colo. and owned John D. Stillinger Jewelers, Ltd. in Boulder, Colo. for more than 20 years. Jack’s career jobs also included being a mixer in a paint plant and a camp counselor. He was an avid rock and coin collector, a talented and award-winning photographer, an inventive cook, a diligent shopper, a repository of unusual and useless facts, a great researcher, an avid science fiction reader, and a talented woodworker. He enjoyed offroad exploring and could spend endless hours polishing rocks by hand using sandpaper. In August 1982, Jack prospected the west cliff face of Mount Antero in Colorado and discovered a very large smoky quartz pocket. The discovery called the “telephone booth pocket” was written up in Rock & Gem Magazine and Antero Aquamarines by Mark I. Jacobson.

Jack was proudest of his ability to work with his hands and fix things. He taught himself to make beautiful wood bowls and to tile. When people asked his occupation he would answer “a fixer of things.” His bibles were Consumer Reports and the Big Book.

After meeting on in early 2004, Jack and Dorothy were married Dec. 29, 2004 and maintained homes in Boise, Idaho and Mancos. During their short eight years together they traveled the world including an Alaska cruise, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Kenya, Tanzania, Amsterdam, Antarctica, Argentina, Spain, Morocco, New England, and a road trip from Colorado to North Carolina to North Dakota and back. A volunteer at the Morrison Center in Boise, he enjoyed the theatre and meeting new people. Jack was also a board member of the Cedar Mesa Homeowners Association, active in AA, and a member of the Idaho Gem Club.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; children, Richard Snowball, Randy (Shannon) Snowball, Daniel Snowball, and Melissa (Nate) Suekel; grandchildren, Aly and Trevin Hall, Rachel Wofford, Mark Snowball and Christopher Jensen, all of Boise; brother, Robert (Jane) of Capitola, Calif.; sister, Susan (Mike) Traylor of El Paso; nephews, Daniel Stillinger and Kyle Traylor; and niece, Lindsay (Mike) Simpson.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents.

Jack lived life on the leading edge of creative pursuits as evidenced in this picture taken in Morocco just two weeks ago.

Donations can be made to your own favorite charity. Memorial services will be held in Mancos and Boise in the near future.