Jesse C. Gatlin Jr.
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Brigadier General (Retired) Jesse C. Gatlin, Jr., 93, died on December 9, 2016. Born September 30, 1923 in Creswell, North Carolina to Jesse Sr. and Alice Moore Gatlin, Jesse "Jake" graduated from Creswell High School in 1941 and attended the Oak Ridge Military Academy before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point in July 1942.

The day after his June 1945 graduation, he immediately married the love of his life, Audrey Meyer, and together they served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and then the U.S. Air Force for more than 31 years until his retirement in December 1976. During his career, he flew for 17 years as a pilot in twelve different aircraft, including the B-25, B-17, P-47, B-26, T-33, C-45, and C-47, his favorite – the Gooney Bird. His assignments included tours of duty in Austria, Germany, England, and Canada. He was a radiological officer during the Nevada nuclear tests in the early 1950s before attending the University of North Carolina, where he received his Master of Arts degree in English in 1957 and then joined the faculty of the USAF Academy at Lowry Air Force Base, Denver. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in American Literature at Denver University in 1961, after which he and his family moved to the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs where he served as Professor and Head of the English Department from 1965 until his retirement. He then taught American Literature at UCCS as a part-time instructor from 1977 to 1985 and one year as a volunteer teacher at St. Mary's High School in 1986-1987. For the past 30 years, he also volunteered teaching American Literature at the Colorado Springs Senior Center.

His wife of 68 years, Audrey, died in December 2013 of Alzheimer's disease. They are survived by their four children: Jesse III, 1968 West Point graduate and retired U.S. Army Colonel and his wife Ann; Donna Hinman, wife of retired Colonel Craig G. Hinman, 1969 USAFA graduate; John R., UC Boulder graduate; and Joseph A., Western State College graduate; Dawn Burns, close family friend; eight grandchildren: Jesse IV (Kristi), Jeffrey (Melissa), Brett (Larissa), Christie (Dave), Nicki (Robbie), Tyler (Amy), Joseph (Ashleigh), and Cora Blue (Bill); and eleven great grandchildren.

A Memorial Service will be held at 10:00 AM, Monday, January 30, 2017, at Shrine of Remembrance "America the Beautiful" Chapel, 1730 East Fountain Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80910. Following a procession to the USAFA, BG Gatlin will be interred with his wife with full military honors at a graveside service at noon, January 30, 2017 at the USAFA Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests any contributions be made to the Jesse Gatlin Memorial Fund, c/o Association of Graduates, USAF Academy, CO 80840.




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Published in The Gazette on Dec. 18, 2016.
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Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
September 26, 2017
Hoping this makes it to a family member.
I own a copy of The U. S. Air Force in Fiction published in 1973 by Colonel Jesse C. Gatlin Jr.
Does anyone in the family have an interest in owning this item?
I will send it upon request.

Dr. John Crawford USAR
303-880-0844
john crawford
January 16, 2017
Jake and I are distant cousins (1/2 3rd cousin, once removed), having common ancestors in Craven County, NC. I never met him but did have a long phone chat with him a few months ago. From all I have heard from his family and kin back in NC, he was a wonderful man. I am saddened that he is gone and sadder still that I never met him. The deepest sympathy from me and especially our daughter Amanda go out to his family.
Boyd Gatlin
January 15, 2017
So very sorry for your loss. I am a cousin that lives in Stonewall, NC. Glenda Gatlin Benton
January 7, 2017
Dear Family of General Jesse Gatlin,
How sad the news of your dear Jesse's passing to eternal life in heaven which shocked us after our absence from Colorado Springs. What an outstanding officer, boss (USAFA), teacher, humanitarian, tennis player and FRIEND Jesse was and is to Maureen, myself, and all privileged to know him.We know of no better man than Jesse and no more wonderful woman than his dear wife Audrey. Our heartfelt loss is certainly heaven's gain. In tough times may Jesse's example motivate us all to be the best persons we can be.
John and Maureen Eaton
January 4, 2017
So sad to learn of your heart-breaking loss. The world has lost a treasure of a person who truly lived a full life. May God grant you peace beyond all understanding, knowing your parents are together and eith our Heavenly Father. With much love,
Steve & Lesia
December 21, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. I hope Jer. 29: 11,12 brings you some comfort during this difficult time.
December 21, 2016
Uncle Jesse's passing reflects the end of a generation - Ducky and Poppy, Jo and Jim, and now Audrey and Jesse. All of us can be grateful to have been part of this family. On behalf of the Coyles, we send our thoughts, our prayers and our love to all the Gatlins. God Bless us all.
Jocelyn Bierman
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