In Memory

Jack E. Hallstrom VIEW PROFILE

July 31, 1928 - February 9, 2014

On February 9, 2014, at age 85, Jack's life ended peacefully after experiencing declining health in his last few years. He was a life-long educator who left a great legacy for students, colleagues, and his family. Throughout his 48 years in education, he was known for his energy, his integrity, his generosity, his attention to detail, and his love for students...encouraging them to fulfill their dreams through education and extra-curricular activities.

         Jack was the youngest of four children born to Elmer and Vera Hallstrom of Avoca, Nebraska. He learned to hunt, fish, and play basketball. His basketball career continued with a $50 scholarship to Peru State College where he met Nancy Hardy. They married, and Jack started teaching math and coaching at Lewiston, NE. He proudly served his country in the US Army during the Korean Conflict then came home to teach at Monroe Junior High in Omaha for six years while also working summers at the Omaha Home for Boys. He spent three years as principal of Mount View Elementary, two years as assistant principal and athletic director at Benson High School, and eight years as principal of Monroe. In 1971 he became the first principal of Northwest High School where he remained for 18 years. In 1991 he was elected Douglas County Superintendent of Public Instruction.

        Jack truly knew all of the students in his buildings and made his mark on their lives. Students remember that he was always quick to provide guidance, or sometimes needed discipline and direction. He inspired students with his actions, his professionalism, and his willingness to treat all fairly.

        Jack's love for his family was always in evidence. He often called Nancy "a saint" for supporting him and the responsibilities that would take him away from home many nights. They were both so proud of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He and Nancy attended countless concerts, little league and varsity games, musicals, dance recitals, swim meets, graduations, and he always demanded to see report cards. He never hesitated to slip his grandchildren a $20 bill and supply them with a case of pop, a box of Krispy Kremes, bananas, Russell Stover chocolates, Beanie Babies, sweatshirts, and watches.

       Jack and his siblings and their spouses were devoted to each other. They enjoyed getting together often to share a meal or celebrate a birthday or holiday together. Corrine and Joe, Bob and Ethel, Tom and Dorothy supported him through his successes and stood by him during his most difficult times.

      Throughout his career, Jack was a member or an officer in a number of organizations including: the Nebraska Association of Secondary School Administrators, Omaha School Administrators Association, Nebraska North Central Accreditation Committees, Nebraska State PTA, Peru State College Foundation, the Omaha-Area Peru Alumni chapter, Peru State College Hall of Fame, Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame, and the Omaha Public Schools Hall of Fame. He was named "Nebraska Principal of the Year" in 1988 and received a Distinguished Service Award from Peru State in 1995. The NSASSP "Jack Hallstrom Friend of Education" award was established in his honor for his exemplary dedication to students and leadership in the association. He also served on the board of directors of several organizations: founder and state president of Nebraska Association of Retired School Administrators; state president and District II president of Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals; president of Phi Delta Kappa, and Douglas County Superintendent of Schools. Jack and Nancy were members of St. Paul United Methodist Church for over 50 years.

       After his retirement, Jack took great pride in his yard and abundant flowers at the home on William Street. He loved to host their many groups of friends or family around the pool. He cherished his association with Omaha Public Schools; Northwest High School, Mount View, Monroe, Benson communities and Peru State College. He enjoyed all Nebraska sports...especially Big Red football; traveling, gardening, and golfing, and 4th of July celebrations at Woodcliff. In his last years he enjoyed writing his memories and sharing them with family and friends.

       Jack is preceded in death by wife Nancy Hardy Hallstrom; son Jerry Hallstrom; parents Elmer and Vera Hallstrom; sister Corrine Case and her husband Raymond J. Case; niece Barbara Lea Hallstrom; Nancy's parents Howard and Muriel Hardy, and Nancy's sister Kay Hardy Garcia.

      Jack is survived by daughter Ann Hallstrom of Keller, TX; daughter Jane and Roger Roenfanz of Hudson, WI; son John and Donna Hallstrom of Indianola, IA; and daughter Linda and Tom Harman of Blair, NE; 14 grandchildren: Joseph and Merritt Bartley, Anika Cooper, Emily and Luke Duenser, Lindsey and Travis Nixa, Parker Roenfanz, Jon and Brandi Hallstrom, Jordan Hallstrom, Will Harman, Eileen Harman, and Cal Harman; 9 great-grandchildren: Joseph Bartley, Aiden Wallace, Noah Duenser, Kennedy Duenser, Bode Nixa, Tyler Hallstrom, and Addison Hallstrom; brother Bob and Ethel Hallstrom; brother Tom and Dorothy Hallstrom; brother-in-law Francis Garcia; brother-in-law Andy and MaryRose Hardy; nieces and nephews, and many dear friends.

      Jack's family is very grateful to the caregivers of Physicians Clinic, Bickford Cottage, Lakeside Village, Methodist Hospital, and Life Care Center of Elkhorn for their loving care. The family greatly appreciates the friends and family who reached out to him with visits, cards, phone calls, and unconditional love. Jack never knew a stranger, never hesitated to encourage people to support his causes, always remembered his former students, teachers, and parents, and always demonstrated his love for his family, his country, his schools, his students and staff members, and education.

      His energy, leadership, generosity, and love will be greatly missed.


Memorial Service Monday (2/17/2014) 11:00 AM

St. Paul United Methodist Church - 5410 Corby Street - Omaha, Nebraska

Click here to see Jack E.'s last Profile entry.