Dec. 23, 2020

Jackie Gutormson Busch, 68, of Montrose, passed away Dec. 23, 2020, from a stroke. A Celebration of Life is 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday, June 20, at Bob and Joan Paulson’s farm, 22202 Lace Ave., Silver Lake. Please come and share your memories of our beloved Jackie.

It was a hot summer day, June 20, 1952, when Luella and Bob Gutormson brought their fourth daughter in four years, Jacalyn Roberta, into this world at St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She was cute, chubby and full of curls. Within a year her brother Thomas joined the family and she found a partner, and the two grew to be a force to be reckoned with. Jackie would end up with six sisters and three brothers.

Jackie attended Henry Neil Elementary School in Aberdeen, and after the family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1959, she attended St. Ann’s Highland Park Elementary and Irving Junior High School, where she was the class clown and an infamous storyteller.

In 1966 the family moved to Annandale and later to Hutchinson, where she graduated high school in 1971. In classes she nurtured her love of music (singing and playing guitar) and art (painting). Her sisters recall she performed singing solos in the school talent shows.

Tom and Jackie together ended up in the third grade after Jackie was held back in a transfer from public to Catholic school because she had not learned cursive. This was a severe blow to her, which she carried her entire life, and often acknowledged. Again, Tom and Jackie partnered in making money. They shoveled snow, mowed lawns and sold spudnut donuts door to door. Jackie also got into babysitting. She excelled at having fun with the children.

Jackie and Tom shared a love of music and often joined their younger brother Greg to jam. Jackie began to sing at weddings, anniversary parties and funerals. “Me and Bobby McGee” became a favorite song of hers and gave Janis Joplin a run for her money.

After graduation, Jackie set out “to find her real parents,” which was a running joke in the family for years. She moved to Aurora, Colorado, staying with her mother’s sister, “Auntie Elenor.”

She started singing in a band, “The J. Gutormson Band.” She met her future husband, Mike Busch, who was a drummer. They returned to Hutchinson and married.

Jackie’s beloved car was a yellow 1965 Ford Mustang with issues with the floor — the passengers in the front could watch the road if they so desired.

Jackie and Mike both took jobs at 3M, and in 1983 bought a house in Hutchinson. That same year Nickolas was born Jan. 22, and one year later Andrew was born on Valentine’s Day.

Jackie and Mike divorced but continued to see each other as they raised their boys. She was very proud of her boys' talents and athletic skills.

Jackie suffered a nickel and latex allergy that complicated many things in her life. However, her greatest burden was her Type 2 diabetes. After months of open wounds, she lost a leg below the knee while living in Litchfield. Mike Busch tragically passed away shortly afterwards. Years later she had to have her other leg amputated.

She loved spending time with her dear sons and even more dear grandchildren, Mason, Jack, Lennon and Bryn.

Jackie loved to watch old black-and-white movies and shopping on QVC. She enjoyed Pepsi, her cigarettes, Milky Ways and Junior Mints.

She enjoyed getting together with her Ya-Ya’s (her sisters and aunts) and catching up on family gossip and everyone’s grandchildren.

As wonderful as she could sing, she always was a nervous wreck before she performed.

She never stopped dreaming or felt sorry for her wheelchair life. She never lost her spicy attitude and colorful language, which we loved about her.

Jackie and Tom teamed up again to be godparents to niece Cheryl.

Jackie is survived by her sons, Nickolas Busch and Andy (Tracy) Busch; grandchildren, Mason, Jack, Bryn and Lennon; siblings, Lani Worley (Shawne), Leann Niebler (George), Joan Paulson (Bob), Tom Gutormson, Terri Hopp, Gail Thode (Tim), Rob Gutormson (Linda); and lots of nieces and nephews.

Jackie was preceded in death by her parents Robert and Luella Gutormson, husband Mike, brother Greg Gutormson, and sister Renae Sitz.

We hope you are having a heck of a party with music and dancing in Heaven.