Kathleen “K” Jaqueth-Watson passed away peacefully July 23, 2020, in Libby. She was born July 4, 1931, to Art and Jennie Radcliffe in Ritchey. She was the only child of the busy sheep ranch.
She earned her college degree at Northern Montana College in Havre and spent two weeks in England with the International Experimental Living Group. In 1951, K moved to Libby to teach third grade at the new Central School. There she met Ken “Corky” Jaqueth and they were married on Aug. 1, 1953. K and Ken raised three children: Nanette, Scott and Rick.
K was very devoted to the Catholic Church and was honored for her service with the Catholic Alter Society. An active member of the Libby Women’s Club, K was the driving force for the installation of traffic lights at the intersection near the Libby Chamber of Commerce. She spent hours showing films and speaking at every club meeting in Libby to show evidence of the danger to schoolchildren using the highway crossing.
K was given an award from the State Federation of Women’s Clubs for the greatest increase in the local organization’s membership and served as chair for many district events. She also served in the Modern Arts Club and with the American Red Cross, where her job was director to servicemen’s families. She was on call 24 hours a day, contacting families of servicemen or arranging for servicemen to get home from overseas for emergencies.
K was president of the Troy-Libby Community Concert Association for two years, was active in the Boy/Cub Scouts and participated in the Jaycees Chapter when it formed in 1957. K was also recognized for her devotion to and work with the Republican Party and was honored as woman of the year in 1970. She accomplished all this while raising her children and working at the Jaqueth family car dealership and hardware store. In the early ‘80s, K and Ken divorced. She met Len Watson, a jeweler, and they moved to Alaska, living first in Anchorage and then Dutch Harbor. She eventually worked for the Alaska Commercial Company. While working there, she appeared on an episode of National Geographic Explorer when the first Russian fishing fleet was allowed to dock on U.S. soil since the Cold War. K and Len then moved to Nome where K continued to work for the Alaska Commercial Company, managing their hardware store.
In the mid-80s, K and Len joined the Peace Corps, which took them to Roatan Honduras for three years. While living there, K worked to help local businesses get financing and she and Len started a jewelry school. After leaving the Peace Corps, K and Len moved to Glendive to care for K’s mother. There, they operated their jewelry business until Len’s death in 1994.
In 1997, K moved back to Libby to be closer to her children and continued operating the jewelry business for several more years. In her “retired” years, K traveled the states on the back of a Harley and even jumped out of a perfectly good airplane for her 78th birthday. She was fearless and always up for an adventure. She believed that “in giving the world your very best, its best will come back to you.”
She is survived by her son, Rick, his wife, Leslie, and their children Zach and Alyshia; nieces, Lynn, Jan and Amanda Jaqueth; and many, many wonderful friends.
K was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Len and her children, Nanette and Scott.
Due to COVID-19, funeral services will be announced at a later date. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.