Jerry was born in Laurel, Mississippi to Edith and Albert Catchot. After living in South Carolina the Catchot family moved to California and eventually settled in the Feather River Canyon area. Jerry graduated from Quincy High School in 1951. Jerry enlisted in the Air Force in 1951 and served as a Loadmaster on C-54 and C-124 cargo aircraft stationed in Tachikawa, Japan. After the cease fire Jerry became a Loadmaster Instructor at McCord AFB, Washington. Jerry received the Korean Service Medal with two stars, the United Nations Medal, the Air Crew Member Badge, the Air Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the Korea War Medal issued by the Korean Government. Jerry was discharged in 1955 as a Staff Sargent, having flown 1969 hours.
Jerry married Joan VanAlstine in 1959 - they lived in Orangevale nearly all of their 61 year marriage, where they raised their children Laura and Scott. Jerry was a General Contractor, building many Orangevale area houses with his father in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Jerry spent most of his career as a Construction Superintendent building or renovating commercial buildings, including a restoration of the California State Capitol, construction of The Landmark building on Howe Ave, and construction of the Alumni and Visitors Center on the UC Davis University campus.
Jerry and Joan raised Appaloosa horses, and a few cows in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Once they were empty-nesters, Jerry and Joan took their RV on adventures around the western US, sometimes with childhood friends Charles and Phyllis Mounkes. Since the early 1990s, Jerry and Joan both enjoyed being members of and touring with the vintage car club, the Horseless Carriage Club of America. Having had a life-long love for cars, through the years, Jerry repaired, restored and tinkered with cars, trucks, tractors and motorcycles of all vintages. Jerry took great pleasure spending time with his beloved grandsons Carson and Corey, and attending their many sporting events.
Jerry’s children are grateful for the life lessons he provided them – the importance of a strong work ethic, knowing a job worth doing is worth doing well, honesty, integrity and generosity. Jerry had many talents and was always willing to help family and friends: building a vacation home, restoring a vintage bus, landscaping a back yard, making home and auto repairs, providing a temporary home.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Albert, Dorothy, Harold (Jim) and Patricia. Jerry is survived by his wife Joan, children Laura and Scott, grandsons Carson and Corey, his sister and brother-in-law Edith and Bill Brown, sister-in-law Donna Catchot, as well as cousins, nieces and nephews.
Jerry will be laid to rest, in a private ceremony, with military honors, at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, CA. With all our love we will miss you every day.
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