BilliJo Peterson Lackey

March 26, 1961 — April 3, 2017

Did you ever meet somebody who made you smile as soon as you saw her? A woman who would tell the most irreverent joke at just the wrong time, yet everybody in the room would laugh and appreciate it? A woman whose smile was contagious and whose love for people was genuine? A woman who was loved and appreciated by everybody she met?

That was my wife and life for nearly a quarter of a century — BilliJo Peterson Lackey.

Like all of us, BJ had her ups and downs. But she also had her dreams and aspirations — she always had that “next great idea” that she couldn’t wait to work on. BJ was one of the most creative and honest people I’ve ever known. She loved getting in front of an audience and doing one of her many stand-up comedy routines. Yet she also loved just hanging around with her best hound dog, Lily Belle, and me. Maybe cooking up a pot of green chile or some other concoction she had dreamed up.

And she had a running narrative of her and Johnny Depp on Facebook. Speaking of Facebook, she had nearly 3,000 “friends” there — what was that all about?

She was fiercely loyal to me and was truly my best friend ever. We took care of each other for decades — and it wasn’t a burden, it was a life-long commitment we had to each other.

Then, on the night of March 28, she took a fall. In the morning, she didn’t wake up and was transported to the emergency room at Mayo Clinic. It was there that the devastating news unfolded — BJ had suffered irreparable brain damage.

On Monday morning, April 3, I sat with her in hospice, holding her hand and playing some music for her. I told her I loved her. I told her everybody loved her. The song was “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” by George Jones. Half way through the song, she took a deep breath, exhaled and stepped onto the chariot.

To all of you who knew and loved BJ, including her brother, Vaughn Jacobson, and her sister, Mindi Dodd, and many of her nieces and nephews, just know that she’s at peace now. You and I will never forget her or the impact she had on our lives.

And we’ll all remember that smile and quick wit of hers. Rest in peace, my love, you will be in my heart and mind forever.