Jack Catron, 88, of Klamath Falls, beloved father and husband, died of natural causes peacefully in his home with his family and special canine companion Evee by his side Sept. 12, 2013.
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Jack was born Feb. 4, 1925, in Los Angeles, Calif., to Jasper Odell "Jet" Catron and Lena May Gardner Catron. He was the youngest of three children and spent the first 10 years of his life in Los Angeles.
Following the death of his mother, Jack and his father moved to Oregon, settling in Eugene. He graduated from Eugene High School when he turned 18 in February 1943 and immediately went into the military.
Jack received a commission into the Army Air Corps. At the age of 19, he was a flight instructor at Taft Air Corps Base. He was sent to Europe, where he was stationed in Orleans, France. Jack was a C47 pilot with the 101st Airborne Division. He flew supplies and fuel to General Patton, transported wounded soldiers and dropped paratroopers for ground fighting. He considered his service as a captain one of his most important achievements.
At the end of World War II, he returned to Eugene, where he went into business with his father and brother and met Colleen Snoen. Jack and Colleen were married March 28, 1946, in Newport, Ore. In 1947, Jack and Colleen moved to Ventura, Calif., where they resided for the next 40 years.
Jack felt it was important to give back to the community. He was a lifelong member of the PTA. He served on the American Red Cross board of directors and was a member of the Exchange Club. He attended Community Presbyterian Church in Ventura, where he served as a deacon, elder, clerk of session, mission committee member, church treasurer, and was a delegate to Presbytery and Synod.
After 40 successful years in the wholesale meat business, Jack and Colleen moved in August 1987 to Ashland, Ore., where he again served the community. He was a volunteer policeman, Neighborhood Watch/CERT leader, member of the bike and pedestrian committee, and delivered meals on wheels. Jack was active in the Ashland First Presbyterian Church, serving on session and numerous committees.
He and Colleen moved to Klamath Falls in 2004.
Jack loved people - that was his gift. He never met a stranger and everyone who knew him was drawn to his warmth. He had a terrific sense of humor and thoroughly enjoyed life. He loved tennis, golf, bridge, gardening, reading historic literature and watching football, most especially the Oregon Ducks.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father; wife, Colleen; brother, Herbert; sister, Juanita; nieces Geraldine Catron Compton and Denise Catron Stallings and nephew, Michael Dungan.
He is survived by his daughter, Debi Catron and son-in-law, Anthony Igou; both of Klamath Falls and with whom he lived for the last six years. He also is survived by niece, Connie Haddix and family; nephew, Arthur "Skip" Walden (Diane) and family of Perth, Australia; nephew, Steve Catron of Las Vegas, Nev.; and numerous extended family members and special friends across the United States.
A memorial service will be in First Presbyterian Church, 601 Pine St., in Klamath Falls at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, followed by a celebration of life reception at his daughter's home. Jack will be interred at Eagle Point National Cemetery next to his wife, Colleen, arranged by Eternal Hills Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Friends of the Children Klamath Basin, 3837 Altamont Drive, Klamath Falls, OR 97603, or Klamath Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 482, Klamath Falls, OR 97603.
Please sign the online guest book at www.heraldandnews.com/obituaries.
Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens
4711 Highway 39 Klamath Falls, OR 97603
Published in Herald And News on Sept. 19, 2013