February 2, 1935 ~ March 24, 2021
John “Jack” Eastgate Southam, 86, Fargo, formerly of Mohall, North Dakota, died in his home at Touchmark on March 24, 2021. He was born in Grafton, ND, on February 2, 1935, to Clair and Alice (Eastgate) Southam. As a young boy, Jack worked on the family dairy farm West of Mohall, where he rode his pony and helped his Grandfather Southam deliver milk from a horse-drawn wagon. Jack graduated from Mohall High School in 1953. He was a proud Yellowjacket, and as a freshman became the school’s youngest ever letterman in varsity football.
Following high school, Jack attended North Dakota Agricultural College (now North Dakota State University), obtaining a Pharmacy degree in 1956. He was a member of Blue Key, Kappa Psi Fraternity, and the Rahjahs. His first job as a registered pharmacist was at Osco Drug in Fargo. On June 16, 1957, he married Roberta Ann Enger of Halstad, MN. After Roberta’s graduation from pharmacy school in 1958 they moved to Mohall and operated City Drug Store along with Jack’s mother Alice so that his father could go to NDSU to get a degree in pharmacy. In the early 1960s, Jack was appointed coroner for Renville County.
Jack was extremely active in civic life. He was president of the Mohall Jaycees, and a member of the Mohall Community Club and Country Club. He was a lifelong member of the North Dakota Pharmaceutical Association, and served as its president from 1965 to 1966.
In 1967, Jack and his family moved to North Carolina. In 1971, they returned to Mohall and purchased City Drug from his parents. They mentored several pharmacy students who interned at the pharmacy. One of the highlights of his working years was 1976, which was the nation’s bicentennial and Mohall’s diamond jubilee. That year Jack was president of the Mohall Community Club and they organized many events celebrating both.
Jack enjoyed gardening, hunting, fishing, and playing bridge. He taught Sunday School and the Bethel Bible Series at Zion Lutheran Church in Mohall. He was a 50 year life member of the Mohall Masonic Lodge #73, and a past master. He was a Royal Arch Mason, a member of the Elks Lodge in Minot, the North Dakota Pharmaceutical Association, and the National Association of Retail Druggists.
Upon retirement in the year 2000, Jack and Roberta went on a dream trip to Norway, and then spent twenty winters as snowbirds, making Mesa, Arizona their winter home. Their lives were warmed by sunshine and new friends. One of the joys of retirement was emceeing Saturday morning coffee and rolls at Mesa Village. He also enjoyed traveling, playing bridge, golf, leading a Bible study, and attending Mesa High Basketball games. Jack and Roberta were associate members of Love of Christ Lutheran Church in Mesa, Arizona. They moved to Fargo in 2013, where they joined Olivet Lutheran Church.
Jack pondered life, and in his later years wrote down musings such as this: “God will give me the courage I need and in every endeavor He will love me whether I succeed or fail.”
He is survived by his wife Roberta; children Michael, Chicago, IL, Patrick (Susan), Saint Pauls, NC, and Heather, Bloomington, MN; his sister Carol (Donald) Erickson, Mohall, ND; niece Denise Erickson; nephew Robert Erickson; several grand-nieces and nephews; and many cousins.
He was predeceased by his parents.
His funeral was held Tuesday, March 30, in Fargo, with Rev. Tiffany Sundeen officiating. Burial was in Oakwood Cemetery, Harwood, ND. Arrangements entrusted to the care of Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo. The service may be viewed at www.BoulgerFuneralHome.com on Jack’s obituary page. The family would like to extend special thanks and gratitude to Hospice of the Red River Valley and Home Instead for their loving and compassionate care. Memorials may be directed to Hospice of the Red River Valley, or to the NDSU Class of 1956-58 Pharmacy Scholarship Fund.