John "Jack" George Kent
April 1, 1933 – November 13, 2020
Jack was born April 1,1933 in a sod house on the plains of South Dakota - a simple beginning for a man who achieved a great legacy. His father George worked as a farmhand and moved his growing family from farm to farm to support them during the constant dismay of the Great Depression.
When Jack was 10, his mother moved with her 4 children to Bozeman, Montana in search of work. They lived in a boxcar that was refurbished into a house. His love of “the horse” sprang from this experience when he was 10 years old and his first employer gave him a horse he called “Flicka”.
Jack claims he became a “bit of a hooligan” during this time so his exasperated mother sent him back to South Dakota to live with his uncle Rudy and work on the ranch. He attended 7th and 8th grade in a one room schoolhouse five miles from his home. When he was 13, he moved to Rapid City to live with his father and began his lifelong work in moving the earth.
Jack petitioned his Mother at age 17 to join the Navy at a time when the Korean war was just beginning. He sailed the Pacific on a destroyer escort, supplying shore power to Japanese and Korean ports. Upon returning from the war, he found himself back in the Dakotas working for Roth Construction and later for Wilbur Construction from early 1950’s to 1969. Jack had saved his Navy stipend and bought his first great car, a 1953 Belair convertible. Given his pursuits at that time, he added the most appropriate mud flap that said “Don’t cry girls, I’ll be back”! During this time, he married Mary Muth and together they had three daughters and a son- Debbie, Susie, Kelly, and Kathleen. The young family moved to numerous construction jobs across four states. When the dam or highway was completed, they would hook up the trailer and Jack’s horse trailer and travel to the next job. Upon arrival the trailers, bunkhouse and cook shack would circle and a community would be set up for the next project. A strong bond was formed between the young families.
During these years Jack learned from “the Best”. He moved up quickly and was “Doing it His Way” before long.
At one time he needed to get a fleet of large equipment from Wyoming to Arizona. Unable to use the highway system, he devised a route across ranches and reservations. A fence crew went out ahead to take down and replace the fences as the fleet travelled. Jack would round up local men to keep equipment secure overnight by tearing a $100 bill in half. If equipment was intact in the morning, Jack produced the other half. Imagine seeing a fleet of scrapers, bulldozers, motor graders, water trucks and so on creeping across the horizon in the middle of nowhere!
It was during this time that Floyd Baker, Jim Jurczewsky, and John Bernard joined Jack in the construction business. Among many other long term devoted employees - each of these three gentlemen gave Jack more than 50 years of service. Few people have earned this degree of loyalty. Every person who worked for Jack, came away with a better understanding of work. In 1968 Jack married Bonnie Hafer and the following year, he moved to Castle Rock and started TriCon Kent construction company. The company grew to one of the largest earth moving companies in this part of the country. TriCon Kent had a footprint in five states, building dams, housing developments, roads ,interstates and golf courses. You can see his work at Highlands Ranch, Castle Pines and Plum Creek housing development. Jack’s footprint can be found on the Colorado Springs airport as well as parts of DIA. He also developed expertise with golf courses and built nearly every golf course in Colorado including The Sanctuary and Castle Pines to name just a few. Jack was most proud of the large sections of interstates he built. You have undoubtedly driven on roads and played on golf courses that Jack built! He was considered a premier road builder and was awarded the Pioneer Award by the Colorado Contractors Association.
With so many projects to supervise, Jack obtained his pilot’s license and flew his plane to the work sites. His evenings were spent with his sketch pad - reinventing equipment to enhance production! Much of the equipment you see on earth moving projects today, Jack Kent had a hand in inventing or improving many of the pieces it took to efficiently complete the jobs. In 1990, Bob and Molly Heir introduced their long time friends, Jack & Cinda who married in 1998. One of Jack and Cinda’s first adventures was to find a route from Colorado to his childhood home in South Dakota driving only on roads Jack had built!
In 1997 Jack and Cinda discovered a ranch in southeast Colorado along the Arkansas River and began his lifelong dream of owning a horse ranch. Twenty years were spent renovating a tired old rundown cattle ranch into a gem. Jack approached this project with the same fierce determination to develop his horse operation as he had in building roads. He loved animals and was intent on developing his herd of paint horses into something special. His goal was to create the finest horse and Distinctively Dixon became just that by becoming a 2-time World Champion Performance Horse. His prize saddles and buckles were evidence that he succeeded in that endeavor. Beautiful horses running freely in the pastures around his home were a constant reminder of his dream. His ranch, TIAGO Ranch which stood for “This is a Good Outfit” eventually became premier hunting property.
Health reasons brought Jack & Cinda back to Franktown in 2014. Once again, they took an 1890’s dairy barn on a beautiful property and turned it into a “slice of Heaven” where Jack re-connected with The Lord in his final months with the guidance of his son-in-law, Shane Bauman.
Jack is preceded in death by his Mother and Father, two brothers and one sister. He is survived by his wife, Cinda, children Debbie Ramsour (John), Susie Dohman, Kelly (Jonie) Kent, Kathleen (Gary) Guinn, Jenni (Shane) Bauman, Kresta Lancaster, 15 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, one sister, nieces, and a nephew.
Contributions to the Spina Bifida Foundation and Autism Awareness will be appreciated. Olinger Andrews Chapel of Castle Rock is in care of arrangements. www.olingerandrews.com Services will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at The Rock, a Non-denominational church at 4881 Cherokee Drive, Castle Rock, Colorado. Masks are required with social distancing available.
Please Note: The option to livestream the service will be available at "Therock.org/live"
Friday, November 20, 2020
Saturday, November 21, 2020
John "Jack" George Kent
November 27, 2020
Jack Kent RIP, - one of the great all time earthmovers utilizing fleets of Caterpillar scrapers and dozers. Ranks up there with Dan Holloway, Bill and Dick Nielson, Boots and Larry Corn, Annie Schmidt, Loudermilk Brothers, Peter Kiewit, et. al. A site preparation constructor of fame and renown. Constructing sites in Colorado for housing and commercial subdivisions, highways and airports. A man of distinction and class.
Had a priceless knowlege of the earthmoving - site preparation business. Will be missed. He can now visit the great earthmovers of the past on the good side of the curtain. Jack should be enshrined in the Colorado Constructors Hall of Fame.
November 22, 2020
I thank God that you are not suffering anymore, and that you had time to spend with all of us before you left this life.
My handsome, charming, adorable Dad with your twinkly blue eyes...the most special man I will ever know. We were all so LUCKY and BLESSED to have you in our lives. I will miss you every minute for the rest of my life. I hope that God and you and all your buddies up there are talking right now about the next highway in Heaven ❤ to be built! We love you so much
November 21, 2020
Dear to me. You will be missed. Till we meet again
November 20, 2020
I too, along with many men had the privilege to work for Jack back in the 80’s. Jack’s rare ability and make-things happen spirt made him the icon he was. So many wonderful memories….
November 19, 2020
Thank you for being the very best Papa to all of us! You were always just a call away and always were full of advice :). You role modeled the very best work ethic for our family. With every construction job we bid and highway project we build you will be in our hearts! We love you and I’m sure you already have the dirt moving up in Heaven! Xoxo
November 18, 2020
I had the honor of being able to work for Mr. Kent for eight years. He was a wonderful leader and the world has lost a truly great man.
November 17, 2020
Papa we will miss you forever❤️ Thank you for always being the absolute best man. I love you so very much!
November 17, 2020
You were a true friend and will always carry a special place in my heart RIP my friend, until we meet again, God Bless.