Jack Nelson Golden

April 21, 1939 - June 11, 2020
Jack Nelson Golden

Col. Jack Nelson Golden, 81, of Joplin, Missouri, departed this life on Thursday morning, June 11, 2020, in the comfort of his home after a recent decline in health.

Jack entered this life on April 21, 1939, in Joplin, Missouri, son of the late Chandler “Max” and Rosetta “Rosie” (Dunn) Golden. He was a lifelong Joplin resident. He graduated from Joplin High School in 1957. Jack then attended Joplin Junior College from 1957 – 1959. He furthered his education at Pittsburg State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Business Education in 1962.

Following graduation, Jack worked as the recreation director of the Joplin Boys and Girls Club. He then began a career in education, as a teacher and coach. Jack began his civic career as Deputy Director of Economic Security Corporation of the SW area, until 1972. That same year Jack began to serve the City of Joplin, a career which would span over 30 years. Jack served the City of Joplin in many different capacities over the years, including: Director of Federally Assisted Code Enforcement Program, Director of Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority, Executive Director of the Housing Authority, Director of Parks and Recreation, Director of Economic Development, and Director of the Community Development Block Grant Program. Under his direction in 1991 the Housing Authority was recognized by the Federal Housing and Urban Development Department. Joplin was one of ten local housing authorities cited for excellence. Over the years, Jack was asked to consult for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare and other various Federal and State Agencies. Following his retirement from the City of Joplin in 2004, Jack started Joplin Leased Housing Corporation. This corporation assisted low-income facilities and other charities in Joplin and its neighboring cities. Jack was elected to the Joplin City Council in 2010, furthering his service to the City of Joplin. Following the tornado in 2011, he was instrumental in working with the St. Louis Sluggers Disaster Recovery team to restore housing in the Joplin area. Jack ended his council term in 2014 after serving his beloved city for over 40 years.

Col. Jack Golden enlisted in the Missouri National Guard on June 13th 1966. He graduated from the MOARNG OCS Class #4 and was commissioned in the Branch of the Armor in 1966. He later served 4 years as a Senior Tactical Officer for the MOARNG Military Academy. He transferred back to the 203rd Engineer Brigade and subsequently served as Detachment Commander of the 203rd Engineer Bn. (Webb City). He then transferred to Camp Clark Tng. Site and subsequently served as Admin. Officer, Provost Marshall and Chief of Operations and Training. He then transferred to the 35th Engr. Bde. subsequently serving as Asst. TOPO Engineer. Col. Golden graduated from US Army Officer Candidate School, Armor Officers Basic Course, US Army Engineer School and Commander General Staff College. He served as a Senior Tactical Officer teaching leadership principles and methods. He was assigned and deployed to Korea, Japan, Honduras, and Panama. Col. Jack N. Golden served The Missouri National Guard for 30 years, retiring in 1996.

On April 5, 1963, Jack was united in marriage to Zola Mackey, and together they shared the last 57 years.

Additional survivors include two daughters, Christine Melson and husband, John, of Joplin and Debra Golden also of Joplin; four grandchildren, Kimberly “Diane” Weber and husband, Bill, of Neosho, Chris Plew of Monett, Amanda Muniz and husband, Stephen, of Joplin, and Riley Plew and wife, Esmeralda, of Webb City; seven great grandchildren; a sister, Peggy Golden of Berkeley, California; a brother, Dennis Golden and wife, Dorothy, of Tupelo, Mississippi; as well as a host of other family and friends.

Graveside funeral services with full military honors will be held on Tuesday morning, June 16, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at Osborne Memorial Cemetery. Those honoring his life by serving as pallbearers are Chris Plew, Lucas Plew, Riley Plew, Bill Weber, Chandler Weber and Jackson Weber with Bill Scearce, Benji Rosenberg, and John Earwood serving as honorary.

The family will receive friends on Monday evening from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the chapel of Parker Mortuary.

Memorials are being directed to either the Boys and Girls Club of Joplin, or Children’s Haven c/o the mortuary. Arrangements are under the personal care and direction of Parker Mortuary in Joplin, Missouri.

The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to Leann Paine for providing excellent and compassionate care to Jack.