Retired U.S. Army veteran and state snow plow operator Frank Anthony “Tony” Jaconetty, 81, died Sept. 11, 2022, at his home in Choteau after a gallant effort to beat cancer of the esophagus. Tony was known to have more lives than a cat as he overcame many medical obstacles before this diagnosis.
A celebration of life will be held Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Choteau with a reception following at the Stage Stop Inn.
Tony was born to Francisco Giovani and Ida Amelia (Arneson) Jaconetty on Oct. 20, 1940, in Choteau. He graduated from Choteau High School, where he was an outstanding athlete in football, basketball and baseball. Tony lived for football and was so honored to be selected to play in the 1958 Shriner’s football game. He was offered scholarships play football for Montana State University in Missoula (now University of Montana) and Northern Montana College, and he accepted the NMC scholarship and played for the Havre college.
Tony returned to Choteau to assist his mother with family. He was an excellent dancer and taught his nieces how to dance and would dance any chance he got.
He worked in the oil fields as derrick hand until 1963 when Uncle Sam requested Tony’s service in the U.S. Army for the next two years. Tony then helped build and complete Swift Dam west of Dupuyer. While working at Swift Dam, Tony met Laura Gauthier, they married and had two sons, Scott and Mike. Unfortunately, Tony and Laura separated.
Tony was so proud of his two boys and would tell everyone what they were doing and how proud he was of them. He was quite a bullshitter and this was probably why he was a good car salesman for Dirkes Chevrolet.
After leaving the Chevy dealership, Tony went for the Montana Department of Transportation as the section man in Choteau, a job he held for the next 32 years. Even after retiring in 2003, he would always jump up to watch the snow plows go by; he loved plowing.
A member of the Montana Officials Association, Tony served as a referee for more than 25 years for high school football and basketball games.
In 1999 Tony married Paula Price Larson and was a wonderful step-dad to her sons, Mick and Shea.
Tony was one of the Green Bay Packers’ most dedicated fans, and sure if there was gas that was green, he would have bought it even if it was $1 more per gallon.
Those who were fortunate enough to know Tony knew they were going to be threatened to have “cement shoes” made for them or to borrow $50 until his “Uncle” straightened up and then announced “he is a hunch back.” He would always offer to get a person with a beard razor blades or, if your hair was turning a little white, would offer to get you some dye, and he would tell you to put a cap on if you were bald as the glare was blinding him.
All of his grandkids really believed he ate rattlesnake eggs and ham for breakfast.
Tony remained the Teton County community service coordinator until his death, and every young person who had service hours had to hear the story that Tony had to spend 30 days in jail for minor in possession after calling the county attorney “a wanna-be Perry Mason.”
Tony was active in Jaycees and served on the Choteau City Council for 10 years. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and practically lived at the Choteau Country Club as he was an avid golfer.
Tony is survived by his wife Paula of Choteau; sons and daughters-in-law, Scott and Chompoo Jaconetty of San Juan Capistrano, California, and Mike and Asuka Jaconetty and their daughters, Maika and Aria Jaconetty, all of Japan; step-son and daughter-in-law, Miles “Mick” and Megan Larson, and their children, Audrey, Blaire and Miles, all of Wellington, Colorado, and step-son, Shea Larson, and his children Ashton, Reid and Ellie Larson, all of St. George, Utah; his sister, Faye Cunningham of Victoria, British Columbia; and his special nieces and nephews, Vickie (Connie) Tuten of New Braunsfeld, Texas, Christy (Ken) Schuck of Castle Rock, Colorado, Mike (Jamie) Curtin of Clearwater, Florida, Shawn (Christa) Curtin of Littleton, Colorado, and Billie Lapp and Kelly Clark of Victoria.
Tony was preceded in death by his sisters, Ellen Brown and Bette Jo Curtin, and nieces, Debbie and Toni.
Memorials are suggested to the Choteau Lions Club to help fund the operation of the swimming pool. Tony was a great man who will be missed by all who knew him.
Condolences may be left on-line at www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.com