Claridge, Jackie Dell
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July 31, 1929 -June 27, 2014. Jack Claridge was born on July 31, 1929 in Phoenix, Arizona and passed away peacefully while surrounded by his loved ones on Friday, June 27, 2014. Jack was a resident of The Villages, Florida at the time of his passing. He was raised in Arizona by his parents Dell and Pearl Claridge, who got into the farming and cattle business when Jack was nine years old. In 1946 his father purchased a 36 section cattle ranch (23,040 acres) southeast of Prescott, Arizona where the family would spend the summers working on the ranch. Jack served honorably in the U.S. Army during the Korean war. Prior to the war and after, he lived, worked and raised his young family at the family ranch in Meyer, Arizona, now called the Horner Mountain Ranch. In 1957 Jack and his wife Joanne and two children moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. He had a long career at Motorola as an engineer and was awarded two patents in the plastics division. Jack began shooting archery in 1956 and developed a lifetime passion for this sport. He won the Southwest Sectional Championship in 1964. He turned non-amateur after nearly making the U.S. Olympic team which he competed for in the 1963 World Championship matches in Helsinki, Finland. He continued to compete in archery throughout his life and won many State and Southwest Sectional field and target titles along with winning awards and competing in various tournaments and senior games while living in upstate New York, and until as recently as May 2014, as an active member of the Villages Archery Club. In the last few years he spent time volunteering to teach students the technical skills of shooting archery. In his younger years Jack competed as an amateur lightweight boxer in quite a few matches and put up a strong bid for a championship in the Arizona Golden Gloves Tournament. In retirement he was a gifted carver specializing in beautiful wildlife carvings. Jack also greatly enjoyed being a member the Sumter Landing Bicycle Club. Last October he and his dear companion shared a wonderful long trip to Europe. He could often be seen walking his Boston Terrier "Buddy" around the neighborhood. Jack will be dearly remembered for his great love of family and friends, his contagious zest for life, and his many varied interests and skills. Throughout his years he enjoyed working in his extensive shop where could he fix or make most anything. He was always there to help friends with projects, repair items, share his knowledge, or tell his fascinating stories. He was loved by everyone who met him and will be deeply missed by all. Jack was preceded in death by his son, Mark B. Claridge, on October 10, 2011. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Gail and James Farrell of Aurora, Colorado, two brothers, Harmon Claridge (Shirley) and Don Claridge (Brenda) of Sun Lakes and Prescott, Arizona; four grandchildren, Jeff Gold, Michael Gold (Stephanie), Brian Claridge (Jenny), Kevin Claridge, five great granddaughters (Chloe and Emma Gold, Marisa, Hailey and Alli Claridge), his dear friend and companion, Jane Mong, and many other relatives and friends. A celebration of Jack's life will be held in January 2015 at the Veterans National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.
Published in The Arizona Republic on July 13, 2014