Let the memory of Jerry be with us forever

This memorial website was created in memory of  Jerry J. Cattelane Sr., 71  years old. We will remember him fondly...

Posted by Jerry Cattelane Jr on 6th July 2018
Dad was born on June 18, 1946 in Syracuse, New York to Clarence and Virginia Cattelane. He was the first born and after a few years was joined by his younger sister, Sharon and finally, younger brother Randy. Dad progressed through school and lettered in tennis at Westhill High School. It was shortly thereafter that he met and eventually wed his one true love, Joyce, in November 1966. Dad was dedicated to her until the very end and they spent almost every single day over 51 years together. When my brother and I were very young, Dad took it upon himself to get his college degree. At the time, it wasn’t quite the waypost it is now and certainly, for a man, husband and father to do so in the late 70s was a laudable accomplishment. Dad worked full time, took night classes and helped Mom raise us and in 1979, he earned his engineering degree from Syracuse University at the age of 33. It reaffirmed his lifelong lesson to us that hard work was the pathway to success. If you knew my Dad at any point after this, it is a guarantee that he was wearing his beloved class ring. My father was a hard working and meticulous man. He would not undertake any duty without making sure it was done exactly right. I often relay the story of how one summer he was staying at our summer house in the 1000 islands. My dad had to work during the week and I was home from college so I would stay at the house. Dad had designed and developed every square inch of the house and land and he instructed me to dig a ditch through the back yard that would allow water to drain and not flood the yard. To assist me, although I was working on my pre medicine degree, my father wrote me instructions, by hand, in exacting detail, that covered the front and back of three sheets of legal paper. Suffice to say that when the labor was finished, my father walked the entire length of the ditch and proclaimed it sufficient. I still have the original instructions. The ditch, as far as we know, still drains well. My dad was a good man. He was a good man in the sense that we don’t really think about these days. He was dedicated to his family unit of four. He was unquestionably the leader and we followed him. He was proud of us but wasn’t big on hugs. He would do anything for us, but woe unto you if you weren’t doing the best you could or as he used to put it “applying yourself”. When it was time to do labor, especially in the days that we were building a house on Wellesley Island, New York, Dad was architect, designer, laborer and foreman all in one. There was always time for one more run with the wheelbarrow, one more tree to trim or remove and he would be the last one in to rest. Make no mistake, my brother and I learned those lessons of hard work, determination and perseverance at the foot of the master. Many of you knew my dad at various points in his life. He was proud with a quiet dignity. He was an honest man. He loved his Lymans, the St. Lawrence River, his kids and especially his wife. In later life, he made many friends in North Port, Florida and even was employed at Disney World for a short period. After a mishap where he forgot his identification, he was released and he would recount to friends with dry humor that he had been fired by Mickey Mouse. The disease that eventually took his life took his personality, his vitality and eventually his dignity. We will remember him fondly for his zest for life, his unbreakable will and effort, his profound wisdom to raise two boys into good men, his loyalty and love for his wife and his ability to be a doting grandfather to five grandchildren. Here’s to your ass, Dad. We’ll miss you.
Posted by Helen And Don Van Lith on 20th June 2018
We are so sorry for your loss, Joyce and family. You two were always special to us. You came to our house in Harbor Cove to get our story for the Harbor Cove Bulletin, and I think we were one of the first people you interviewed at that job. We loved seeing you in San Pedro's Church, you and Jerry were always so friendly. We missed seeing you when you moved away. Jerry will certainly be missed. Love you
Posted by Donald Gray on 19th June 2018
Our condolences to Joyce and family. Jerry and Joyce were very active in the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Suncoast Florida. Their leadership was critical in continuation of the club and will always be appreciated. Don & Carol Gray
Posted by Peggy Goyette on 19th June 2018
Dennis and I met Jerry in North Port, FL at several Christmas Parties when Joyce and worked at Heron Creek. He was quite but enjoyed a few laughs. Many days he picked Joyce up from work in his Mustang Convertible with the top down, risking a rain storm. Always smiling and loving Joyce.
Posted by Joyce Cattelane on 18th June 2018
Born in Syracuse, New York, Jerry was a graduate of Syracuse University with a B.S. in civil engineering. He worked several years for New York State Department of Transportation and retired from National Grid, a public utility, where he was supervisor of gas measurement. He married his childhood sweetheart Joyce. Coming from a traditional Italian family, his great aunt asked in Italian what nationality Joyce was, and even though she was Polish, he married her anyway – and the marriage lasted over 51 years. He was the proud father of two sons, Jerry Jr. and Christopher. He coached them in youth hockey, and although he had never played the game, his leadership skills with his teams made them championship level. He was gruff, loud and demanding but the kids knew that he loved them as much as they loved him. He enjoyed boating and owned several of them throughout the years. He was the proud owner of a houseboat that he and Joyce lived on, a 41’ Chris Craft cruiser, several Lymans and other wooden boats. He was the founder of a 501-c-3 boat organization, The Lyman Boat Society of North America, that had members throughout the US and Canada and a museum in Alexandria Bay, NY. Upon retirement, Jerry and Joyce moved to Florida, where they lived for 12 years until his health required him to move closer to family in Alabama. In Harbor Cove, Florida, he enjoyed driving around in his golf cart, playing cards every night with neighbors, driving his red Mustang convertible (always with the top down), golf, going on cruises to the Caribbean and riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle. He loved DisneyWorld. His favorite thing to do was watch the nightly fireworks display “Illuminations of Earth” at Epcot. Every time he saw it, it was like the first. He loved his family. He was so proud of both of his sons and the men they became. He was never happier than sitting at a bar with them, downing a few beers and talking about the old times. He loved his daughters-in-law Elvan Tahaoglu (Jerry Jr.) and Laura Cattelane (Christopher) and grandchildren: Derin, Estelle, Esra, Frankie and Dominic. Although he was quiet around them and couldn’t actively participate with them, especially in his last years, they were so special to him and he talked about them often. A memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 23, 2018 at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 4600 Preserve Pkwy, Hoover, AL 35226. Visitation will be at 10:00 AM. There will be lunch and fellowship at noon in the St. Monica Room. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to: • ExpectCare Hospice, 216 Highland Ave. S., Suite 300, Birmingham, AL 35205 • UAB School of Medicine / Department of Neurology/Research; SC 350, 1720 2nd Ave. S., Birmingham 35294 • Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 4600 Preserve Pkwy, Hoover 35226

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