Longtime resident of Manassas, VA passed away peacefully at Inova Loudon Hospital on January 29, 2021. He was born November 20, 1935 in Independence, KS to the late Henry Louis Catron, and Katherine Thelma Catron. He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years Elizabeth Rennolds Catron and brothers Henry Louis Catron, Jr. and Richard Ray Catron.
Cdr. Catron graduated from Independence High School in Independence, KS, and received his Associates degree from Independence Community College in 1954 where he played football. He then completed the Naval Aviation Cadet program, was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy in 1956, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the Naval Post Graduate School in 1969. During his 22 year career as a Naval Aviator, he flew both the A-3 Skywarrior and RA-5C Vigilante, made over 700 carrier landings, and reached the pinnacle of his career as the squadron Commanding Officer of RVAH-1 during combat operations in Southeast Asia.
Upon retiring from the Navy in 1977, he began his second career in the home building industry at Calvert Homes. He started in sales, then moved to management and finished as an executive. He served as an executive for a few other companies, but always loved the personal interactions that he had in sales. His passion was helping young families achieve the American dream of home ownership. He finished his 37 year career in the building industry in sales for Van Metre Homes.
During retirement he sang in several choirs including the Manassas Chorale, Encore Creativity’s Chorale, and Encore Rocks Singing Group. He was very proud to have performed several times at the Kennedy Center and even once at Carnegie Hall. He also volunteered as a docent at the Udvar-Hazy Center, National Air & Space Museum. He was a devout Episcopalian and had three church homes: Trinity Episcopal in Manassas, Christ Church Parish on Kent Island, MD, and St. David’s Episcopal in Ashburn.
Cdr. Catron is survived by his sons Jerry Michael Catron, Jr. (Stateline, NV), John Christian Rennolds Catron (Vancouver, BC), and Robert Louis Catron (Ashburn, VA); daughters-in-law Karen and Sheila; and grandchildren Judy, Jake, Ben, Jack, Collette, and Carissa.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Thelma Catron Scholarship c/o ICC Foundation, P.O. Box 218, Independence, KS 67301.