Jack C. Botts, 97, died Thursday January 6th in Lincoln. He was born in Ludden, ND, to Dwight and Velcie Botts. He Attended schools in Ludden and Oakes, ND, and entered the Army Air Forces in 1943. He flew 51 missions in Europe as a radio operator in a B-17 crew based in Italy.
He enrolled in the University of Nebraska after the war and studied journalism while working at the Lincoln Journal. He was awarded membership to Sigma Delta Chi fraternity for outstanding achievement, and graduated in 1949. He then entered Northwestern University on a scholarship, where he received a master’s degree in 1950.
He married Dorris Everhart of Des Moines, IA, in 1950 and returned to the Lincoln Journal where he held several editorial positions until 1966, when he accepted a position as assistant professor at the University of Nebraska School of Journalism. He taught both writing and editing courses during his 24 years at UN-L. He became an associate professor in 1968 and a sequence head in 1969. He was made full professor in 1973 and a member of the graduate faculty in 1975. He managed and taught the Midwest division of an editing internship program for the Newspaper Fund from 1968 to 1976.
He received the Bereuter Distinguished Teaching Award in 1984, and became a member of the UN-L Teaching Council. In 1979 he was made chairman of the News-Editorial Department. He was a member of the University’s Task Force on Undergraduate Education, the Writing Coordinating Committee, the Honorary Degree Committee and the Scholarships Committee. In 1987 he was appointed a Distinguished College Professor and was named the Fred and Gladys Seaton Professor of journalism. In 1987 he was named the Distinguished Journalist of the year by the Kappa Tau Alpha scholarship society. He retired from the university in 1990.
He authored six books after retiring: 2 autobiographies, 3 novels, and a handbook for news editors. He was a humanist, a Democrat and a conservationist, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Delta Chi, Kappa Tau Alpha, the Associated Press Managing Editors and the Nebraska Writers Guild.
He is survived by three children and their spouses: Chris and Alana Botts, Terry and Melanie Menzie and Mike and René Botts, all of Lincoln; two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. A son, Jeff died in 2010, and a brother, John, died in 2012. His wife, Dorris, died in April, 2017. A granddaughter, Teresa, died in 2018.