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Gerald "Jerry" ColtonDecember 16, 2017
Gerald (Jerry) James Colton, 76, of Keating, OR died at his home on December 16, 2017 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Recitation of the rosary will be at 7:00 p.m., Friday, December 29, 2017 at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Baker City, Oregon. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday December 30, 2017 at the St Francis de Sales Cathedral followed by a luncheon in the church basement.
Gerald was born on July 2, 1941 in Baker City to John Joseph Jr. and Anna Hope Colton. He graduated from St Francis Academy in 1959 and worked on the family ranch as a 4th generation rancher.
Gerald married Bonnie Houck on September 13, 1964. They have three children: Steven, Wayne and Patricia. Gerald continued to work on the family ranch with his wife and they took over full operations in January of 1988. He continued to work on the ranch he loved even while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Gerald loved God, his family, the ranch and his music. He played guitar and sang with the folk group at the Cathedral for 35 years and was the co-leader of the Children’s choir for 13 years. Jerry sang to his wife, kids and grandkids, he sang for masses, funerals and weddings, and he sang to his cows and dogs. His voice and smile touched the lives of many.
Gerald was a life member of the Baker County Sheriff’s Posse Search and Rescue and also spent several years as a special deputy. He was a past Master and member of the Medical Springs Grange and was a member for many years of the Oregon and Baker County Cattlemen’s Associations. Gerald was active in the Baker County 4-H program as a leader and was the weigh master for the 4-H show for over 35 years.
Gerald is survived by his wife of 53 years, Bonnie Colton, of Baker City; son, Steven Colton and his wife Lisa, of Bel Air, MD; son, Wayne Colton of San Antonio, TX; daughter, Patricia Rasmussen and fiancé Eric Shaw, of Baker City; 11 grandchildren and future grandchildren: Justin Adams and Jessica Colton; Ian, Victoria and Niels Rasmussen; and Jon, Elisabeth, Rebekah, David, Rachel and Adeline Shaw; 2 great-grandchildren: Eve and Aris Bess; sister, Donaldine Huntington and husband Hal; sister Loralee Ramsdell and husband Steve, brother-in-law Howard Houck and wife Ranee, along with seven aunts and many nieces, nephews and hundreds of cousins.
Gerald was preceded in death by his parents, John and Hope Colton, and granddaughter, Ashley Colton Bess.
For those who would like to make a donation in memory of Gerald, the family suggests The Knights of Columbus Scholarship Fund or any donation of their choice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, PO Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834. On line condolences may be shared at www.tamispinevalleyfuneralhome.com