Jack Gottschalk, of Myrtle Point, died Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 at his home with family at his side.
Jack was born Jan. 23, 1920 in Bellingham, Wash., to Fred and Josephine Gottschalk. He married Mary Lou Wilson Dec. 27, 1945, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They lived in Hawaii, Alaska, and California until Mary’s death Jan. 10, 1994, after which Jack moved to Lakeview. There he made many friends and felt a real part of the community. He moved regretfully from Lakeview to live in a more moderate climate where he could play golf most every day, which he did, happily!
Jack entered the Navy as an Airman in 1939 and was stationed on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941. He and his squadron mates strove to launch naval aircraft at the air station that morning. He remained in the Navy until 1948 and was one of the few enlisted Chief Petty Officers to earn his wings as a Naval Aviator (Chief Aviation Pilot). From there, he piloted his father’s fishing boat to Sitka Alaska to commercial fish in 1949. He later became a carpenter and built houses in Sitka. In the late 1950s he changed careers to become an Air Traffic Controller with what was then the Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) and worked in Anchorage, King Salmon, and Fairbanks, Alaska as a controller. He transferred to California in 1967 and retired from the FAA in 1974.
Surviving Jack are his son John Gottschalk(CDR US Navy – Retired) of Tacoma, Wash.; daughters, Valerie Gottschalk of Anderson Calif., Barbara Valdez (R.N.) of Termo Calif.; Brothers Fred and Hugo Gottschalk of Bellingham, Wash.; sister Helen Ebright of Bellingham Wash., grandchildren, Tara Marion (R.N.) of Sacramento Calif., John Giersdorf (Staff Sgt. US Army – Retired) of Sierra Vista Ariz., William Giersdorf of Anderson Calif., Gabriel Giersdorf of Plymouth, N.C., Sean, Kerry, Clare, and Mark Gottschalk of Portstewart, Northern Ireland; six great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson.
Private services will be held.