Cover photo for Lt. Col. John "Jack" Everett Eshelman's Obituary
1934 Lt. Col. John "Jack" 2023

Lt. Col. John "Jack" Everett Eshelman

October 8, 1934 — December 16, 2023



Lt. Col. John E. (Jack) Eshelman was born in Elmira, NY, lived in Syracuse, NY his early years, and subsequently moved to the adjacent village of Liverpool where he graduated from Liverpool High School.  He was drafted for military service  in 1954 following his sophomore year at Syracuse  University.  Upon completion of basic training he was selected for and completed Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA.  Jack was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and assigned to the Third Infantry Division at Ft. Benning.  In 1956 Jack married Betsye Ross Parsons of Kyle, TX.    Two years later Jack, Betsye, and their son Michael accompanied the Third Infantry Division to Schweinfurt, Germany.  The family left Germany a month shy of three years due to the pending birth of their son, Mark.  There stay in Schweinfurt was followed by a move back to Ft. Benning so Jack could attend the Infantry Officers Career Course.  Upon completion of the career course Jack went to Viet Nam and served as an advisor to the South Vietnamese Infantry Battalion and Betsye and the boys returned to Kyle.  Having seen enough of both Ft. Benning and Viet Nam the family moved on the Hattiesburg, MS where Jack completed the credit hours needed for his bachelor's degree.  Their next stop was San Antonio, TX for the first of Jack's two ROTC assignments.  While in San Antonio Jack obtained his master's degree from St. Mary's University.  Three years later the family left San Antonio for Fort Leavenworth, KA so Jack could attend the Command and General Staff College.  Upon completion of this course, Betsye and the boys once again returned to Texas while Jack retuned to Viet Nam.  That year, Jack spend the first six months in Viet Nam for a three year tour duty in Washington, D.C. and was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Military History.  From Washington, the family moved to Galesburg, IL where Jack served as the Professor of Military Science at Knox College.  Included among the awards and decorations he received  during his military career are the Silver Star, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/Palm, the Bronze Star medal with 2 oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service  Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Parachutist Badge.  Upon his retirement in 1974, Jack and family moved to Austin, TX.   That same year he obtained employment with the Texas Department of Health.  Within the year he applied for and was hired by the Texas Department of Human Services (DHS) where he stayed until his retirement in 1994.  The family made its last move to the coastal city of Rockport, TX where their son Mark and daughter in law Denise live. 

Jack is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Betsye Eshelman of Rockport, Texas; sons, Mark Eshelman (Denise), and Dr. Michael Eshelman (Connie) of the Woodland, TX.

Services will be held at a later date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lt. Col. John "Jack" Everett Eshelman, please visit our flower store.


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