My Son Jack
Jack Fitzgerald McAtee lived life to the extreme. A graduate of Lafayette High School, Jack studied journalism at the University of Missouri before moving to Colorado to live out his passion for the mountains. His strong passions motivated his ambitions. He was a free spirit with a love for adventure. He was extremely knowledgeable in music, different cultures, history, politics, writing, travel, sport aviation, and the list goes on.
Although Jack had a passion for all these, his heart for God was the most intense. Jack always had a strong will to honor God and acknowledge God in his ways. Friends of Jack in Colorado remember him going outside during snowstorms to bring homeless people back to the warmth of his loft. Others remember him going to homeless shelters on the holidays to serve food.Jack was genuine, brilliant, hilarious, unique, and so loving. With his spontaneous sense of adventure, he was always ready for anything. His contagious, one-of-a-kind laughter made him the life of the party. He was the kind of friend you met for five minutes and felt like you’d known for five years. He had a true appreciation for the beauty of the outdoors and took full advantage of it in the mountains.
Jack had a way of making everyone feel special – just as themselves. He was one of the most selfless people, always giving even when he himself had very little. He thrived around friends, family, and fresh powder in the mountains, and on family sport aviation adventures to Alaska.
There never was and never will be anyone quite like Jack McAtee. Jack knew what mattered and knew what did not. He spent his life glorifying God … little conversations here and there telling people about Jesus or being there for a friend when no one else was. Jack knew how to be a good friend. He was so brutally honest, it was offensive at times. He was only this way because he cared so much.
He died near the summit of Peak 1 on the Tenmile Range near Breckenridge, Colorado, in 2014. His story hit a nerve with many, as tens of thousands of people followed the McAtee family’s 13-month search from September 2014 until October 2015. The entire story is captured in chronological posts beginning September 29, 2014 in My Story.