John "Jack" Eastgate Southam

john 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 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.

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  1. Roberta, Mike, Heather, Pat & Sue,
    Our sympathies & blessings to all of you. We are so sorry we aren’t able to be with you & celebrate Jack’s life but will always remember times spent with your family. Kally & Russ

  2. Southam family so sorry for the loss of jack my time spent with him was not long but I will cherish every moment from the frist time meeting Jack and Roberta I was a total stranger to welcome me in with open arms trust and made me feel like family was the greatest feeling in the world only wish I known them under different circumstances the stories the laughs the tears meeting Mike and Heather and hearing all about pat smiling wondering what recipes Roberta was gonna give me next lol you all truly felt like family and I couldn’t thank you enough God bless each of you in this difficult time God has truly picked an angle to watch over us love and prayers to all. Veronica Gunderson

  3. Dear Southam family,
    Our hearts are with you as you grieve and celebrate Jack’s life. We are unable to attend but know we are thinking of you daily during this time. Jack meant so much to all of us. Love from us.

  4. What a dear dear man we were privileged to know, even for a short time. He was a blessing in our lives for sure, as are you, Roberta .
    We send prayers and virtual hugs. Kathy Huber

  5. Dear Southam Family, I was saddened to hear of Jack’s passing from Heather. You have all been in our prayers, and we will continue to lift you all up. Sending our deepest love, Christian friendship and sympathy to you at this difficult time. Corey and Steve

  6. Roberta, Mike, Pat, Heather and family.
    Our ties go waaaaaay back and we cherish all of those great times. We are very grateful for the memories we made growing up. Jack could always make us feel welcomed and put a smile on our faces, even if he did so while explaining medicine procedures to our parents as he prepared our meds. We shared in lots of country club suppers, town business meetings, school and city planning committees and on and on. Jack was a very good person. His wisdom and humor was awesome. Sending prayers up for you all and hugs of love.
    The Abrahamson kids!

  7. Dear Roberta, My thoughts and prayers are with you at the time of Jack’s passing. Remembering all the good times we four had together in high school and beyond and extending to our husbands also becoming friends. The husbands are all gone now but leave many good memories with us. Blessings on Jack’s memory and God be with you. Love, Lenida

  8. Roberta, Mike, Heather, Pat & Sue, we are so sorry for your loss. Sometimes life just seems hard, unfair and full of pain. Just know that God is there with you, holding you in the palm of His of hand. Through Him, you will find peace, knowing there is no more pain and Jack is now in paradise.

    Much love to you all.

  9. To Roberta and family my sincere sympathy and prayers are with you all. Enjoyed my visit with you both A couple years ago. A good friend told me when my husband passed away the hole will always be there with just a square of wax paper over it. Have thought about this many times. Will have you all in my prayers for some time. Ruthie Asmus

  10. Roberta, you are paramount in our thoughts today. We had hoped to make it in for Jack’s funeral, but again, got swept up in events of the day. (Our son’s been for a week, but headed back to Houston this a.m.) Had hoped to get with you up in Fargo this fall, but COVID restrictions might still hinder that. If we do make it up for a game, will chance calling you. We had a great time with you last time when we met at that little downtown restaurant in Fargo. Anxious to do it again.

    Regardless, keep the faith! Until next,


  11. So sorry we couldn’t be with you all today but know that our minds and hearts are there with you. We will miss out visits with Jack but will continue our life journey with you Roberta. All our love and prayers go with you today. Love Kay and Don

  12. Dear Roberta and family,
    I was saddened to hear of Jack’s passing. I remember the times spent at the City Drug in Mohall and how friendly and helpful you all were. I hope good memories will ease your grief as time passes. My prayers are with you.
    With love and sympathy,
    Priscilla May

  13. Dear Roberta, We are so sorry to hear of Jack’s death. We send our condolences to you and your family.

  14. My husband Ralph and I and the Chikwinya family in the USA and in Zimbabwe give our heartfelt condolences to Roberta, Pat, Heather and Mike. We remember fondly the Southam’s hospitality and love over the last 50 years.All of us will miss Jack very much and to Jack rest in peace my dearest brother. See you soon and very soon.

  15. Roberta and family,
    So sorry to hear of Jacks death. Have been thinking of you and pray God gives you peace. You were always such a good example of a happily married couple to many young adults. Have missed your positive outlook on life and quick Witt! God bless you in this time of grief.

    Bruce and Marcia Oster(Gilseth)

  16. Roberta & Family,
    So very sorry to hear about Jack’s passing. He was a man of many talents & shared those with his community & N. D. State Pharmacy. His efforts & dedication will never be forgotten. Our thoughts & prayers are with all of you. RIP Jack.
    Gene & Cathy Neal

  17. So many times, Jack was a lifeline to me when I was taking care of my grandparents. He was patient explaining things, encouraging when I was tired, and gave me information I still use to this day. He was a teacher, an advocate and a friend to us all.

    He remembered me coming in with Grandma when I was little, and he always had the same twinkle in his eye when I bought my daughter in many years later.

    We are holding the family in our hearts.

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