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Jacqueline Lair

March 1, 1930 ~ August 24, 2017

Service: September 09, 2017 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
   Location: Fellowship Hall in Bozeman

Jacqueline Patricia Carey Lair bestselling author and renowned worldwide speaker. She meant so many things to so many people, and touched innumerable lives. When trying to think of how to describe her a phrase she said to me when I was younger popped into my mind, “Don't be small.” My grandmother was many things, but small was never one of them. Her emotions were larger than life. Her happiness was a palpable joy, and her laughter infectious. She had a fantastic sense of humor, and an unrivaled wit. Her anger was a force, and her will iron.

She was light, sound, and steel rolled into one. Brilliant does not even begin to explain watching her mind work. She was so far ahead of her time, and never let anyone slow her down let alone stop her. She was loud, fierce, independent, and stubborn during a time when women were taught to be the opposite. She met her husband, Jesse Kaye Lair at the University of Minnesota campus in 1947. They Married July 7th, 1949 in Virginia, Minnesota. Together they had 5 children:  Janet, Barbara, Jess (Nancy), Joseph (Tanya), and Michael (Stephanie) Lair. As well as numerous, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. 

During the very early 1960’s Jackie along with her husband, Jesse embraced the 12 Step lifestyle when they helped found Emotions Anonymous in Minneapolis.  When Jess finished his Doctorate degree at the University of Minnesota, the Lair family moved to Bozeman, Montana on August 1, 1967. Jackie quickly established herself in the 12-step recovery community. The 12 steps gave her a way to embrace her weaknesses, and work them into strengths. During a retreat in August of 1969 Jackie and Jesse laid the groundwork for what would become their first book, I Ain’t Much Baby, But I’m All I’ve Got. That retreat began a love of writing as her way of communicating her truth, something Jackie kept up until her death. Along with writing, Jackie kept herself engrossed in going deeper into spirituality and surrounding herself with books about pursuing God.  She loved her God, she loved her Lord, and she loved life.

She has lived in Bozeman for over 50 years, and she grew to love the mountains. In many ways, she was like them strong, fierce, and indomitable. Family was the most important thing in her life, and she constantly pushed all of us to be our best. She was the force behind her husband’s success, and her wisdom and insight were invaluable to his works. She was never afraid to speak the truth. Her fearlessness taught others to be brave. To not just try, but to be the best. To do the hard thing especially when it seemed impossible.

Born March 1, 1930 in Virginia, Minnesota to Howard John and Vivian Maude Wisner Carey. She left this earth on August 24, 2017. Her life was not small, and her absence feels massive. She will be desperately missed, but her legacy of living life large and with gusto will survive her. She will be welcomed into heaven by Jesus, her husband, Jesse, and her parents.

The family would like to thank the staff at Mountain View Care Center and Hospice of Bozeman Health.

A celebration of Jackie’s life will be held on September 9th from 1-4 pm at the Fellowship Hall in Bozeman, near the intersection of Durston and 22nd Ave.

Should friends desire, memorials in her name may be made to Bozeman Deaconess Health Foundation (Memo Line: Hospice) 931 Highland Blvd., Suite 3200, Bozeman 59715. 

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