Jerald Lester Santillie, known as “Jerry”, 78, passed away December 12, 2020 at his home in Malin, Oregon.
Jerry was born in Los Angeles CA. on January 29, 1942 to Helen “Imogene” (Bailey) and “Al” Elmo Sam Santillie.
“As a little tyke” right before starting grade school, the family moved to Grants Pass, Oregon Robinson Bridge area, where his Grandfather “Papa” taught him to Ranch, Hunt and Fish which were his favorite activities. Jerry was a Boy Scout Achieving Life Scout.
He Graduated high school from Grants Pass High School, lettering in wrestling and joining Drafting club, often selling his blueprints. It is where he met and married Marilyn Melton, from Grants Pass. Jerry and Marilyn had their first child in Grants Pass; then four more children when, they later moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon, where Jerry took the job of manager at a local gas station. He then worked his way up as a mechanic and started a position at Flury’s Auto Dealership. After passing several certifications, Jerry opened his own mechanic shop East Main Auto and 4 x 4 Repair with Wayne Woodwick. He then moved to work at Holmes 4 Wheel Drive and there is when he decided to retire as a mechanic. Jerry and Marilyn divorced in 1981.
Jerry married Judith in 1981, where they operated State Government owned Frenchglen Hotel in Frenchglen, OR. A few years later The Diamond Hotel in Diamond Oregon was then purchased where they proceeded to remodel the property. The hotel catered to people who enjoyed hunting and fishing and observing wildlife with great homestyle food.
The next venture was to buy their own Ranch. Jerry and Judy bought a 350-acre ranch/farm which grew alfa and Judy raised and bred horses. Jerrys son Tracy often spent time making repairs on equipment and helping on the J 2 Ranch. Jerry retired to their last home, which was 5 acres in Malin, OR.
Jerry was an avid fisherman, starting and owning several businesses. Including, a Licensed fishing Guide on the Rogue River and Klamath and Agency Lakes for many years. Jerry was also a licensed trapper, where he trapped coyotes “it is nice to have a hobby that pays for itself”. He also enjoyed fishing and hunting with his sons and grandsons.
Jerry led a full life and would always tell a great story about his life experiences, “if you only ask”.
Jerry was proceeded in death by his parents Imogene Vincent and Al Santillie. He is survived by his wife Judy Santillie, brother Richard Santillie (Julie), sister Nancy Santillie, children, Carrie Santillie, Jennifer Dudding (Dean), Troy Santillie (Shannon), Tracy Santillie (Kelli) and Amber Stone (Shawn). Numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
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