John âJackâ Fletcher, a long-time resident of the Cedonia/Hunters area passed away, Sept. 30, 2012 at a Veteranâs HospiÂŹtal in Los Angeles, California at the age of 90. Jack was born Oct. 5, 1921 in Mt. Hope. He was the fifth child of six children born to Roy and Muriel (Cornwall) Fletcher.
After leaving the homestead, he married his first wife, Leota Cooper, who was also from Mt. Hope. They had two sons, Butch and Elwyn. Jack worked for the railroad and quickly worked his way up from the bottom by running a piece of equipment that no one else could operate. He joined the United States Navy in 1944, where he was stationed in Manilla. In the summer of 1945, the day that World War II was declared over, he set foot on Japanese soil after atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After reÂŹturning to the states, he helped commission his ship at Houston, Texas, where the LSM 378 was built. He stayed on the ship until it was decommissioned after the war.
Jack left the Navy in 1946 and spent the next few years putting his ranch together in Cedonia. He built and operated a sawÂŹmill to pay for the place. At one time, he had 20 men hired to do the logging, milling and lumber hauling. After he finished logging his place, Jack sold the mill and began running cows and raising hay on the ranch. After 25 years of marriage, he and Leota divorced. He then bought a semi truck with an insulated reefer and drove from Portland, OR to Boston, MA, mainly hauling apples and produce east and frozen seafood west. It was on one of these trips east that he met his second wife, Maida LaFluer, in Arkansas in 1973. They had two children, Clara and Jamie. They divorced in 1979.
After he quit trucking, Jack ranched full-time in Cedonia. In 1998 he became a Snowbird and bought a place in Joshua Tree, CA. He spent the next few years transforming his desert ranch into a thriving pistachio farm. He planted 5,000 trees and made the place a beautiful oasis in the desert. Jack enjoyed being busy and always had at least two big projects in the works at any given time. He loved building everything from homes, to fences, to trucks and equipment. Jack was a clever man who always found a way to make things work, even if they were deemed irreparable by someone else. There wasnât anything that he couldnât figure out; he always enjoyed a good challenge. His passions in life were agriculture and irrigation.
He was a fearless and self-motivated man who wasnât afraid to ruffle a few feathers to get what he wanted. He was an extremely hard worker who was determined to be a success at all he set his mind too. Jack was one-of-kind and his legacy and love for his family will live on forever in generations to come.
Jack is survived by his children, Butch Fletcher, Deer Park; Clara Fletcher, Arkansas, and Jamie Fletcher of CaliforÂŹnia; his grandÂŹchildren, Travis Fletcher and wife, Dena, Republic; Tamela Merrill and husband, Shawn, Colville; Trina Cox and husband, Ron, Colville; Kipur Atwood, Colin Atwood, Conner Atwood and Jarett Murray, all of Arkansas.
He was preceded in death by his son, Elwyn Fletcher, Mesa.
Funeral service for Jack was held at the Cedonia Community Church at 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 11. Please visit the online memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com
Danekas Funeral Chapel and Crematory is entrusted with the arrangements.