Russell Albert Catterson, 92, of Twin Falls, Idaho, passed away peacefully on April 1, 2019 from a short illness. Russ was born January 1, 1927 in Stapleton, Nebraska to Albert and Maude (Rich) Catterson. Growing up during the Great Depression, Russ and his two sisters, Doris and Lilah, moved many times throughout Nebraska with their parents as employment opportunities came available. They also lived for a time in Thermopolis, Wyoming; Pocatello, Idaho; and eventually settled in Wendell, Idaho.
Russ enlisted in the Army at Fort Douglas, Utah on April 20, 1945, and completed basic training at Camp Fannin Army Infantry Training Center in Tyler, Texas. World War II was over by the time he finished boot camp, but was sent to Bremerhaven, Germany to “mop up,” as he put it. While in Germany he was stricken with scarlet fever and was honorably discharged for medical reasons in 1947.
Russ owned and operated a tire shop in Buhl, Idaho. During this time he met Norma Jean Walden and they were married on July 22, 1951. She likes to tell the story about the first time she ever saw him. He was driving through the middle of town, showing off his new Buick convertible and she casually told her friend, “That’s the man I’m going to marry.” And she did!
In May 1952 their first child, Deborah Jean, was born. In 1954 Russ moved his family to San Diego, California where his oldest sister was living at the time. Two more daughters were added to family; Teresa Mae, born 1955, and Sandra Kay, born 1957. Every daughter was supposed to be a son, and only boy’s names were picked out. But sons were not part of the plan and Russ found himself in a house full of girls for the next few decades.
As a master mechanic, Russ owned many automotive businesses over the years. He owned Catterson Automotive in San Diego for several years, but Idaho was calling to him and he moved his family back to Twin Falls in 1961. He worked for Glen Jenkins Chevrolet and Hoppe Automotive for a time, but preferred being self-employed. He owned and operated four different service stations and an auto repair shop up until his retirement at age 70. Russ’ passion was cars and throughout his life he owned 170 of them! His pride was the 1930 Ford Model A truck he completely restored. He was a member of Magic Valley Early Iron Car Club and won first place at their 1985 car show for his restored Model A.
Russ became a licensed private pilot in 1967. He belonged to the Twin Falls Flying Club and took to the skies whenever he had a chance. Family vacations were taken in the club Cessna and he was always ready to take someone up for an airplane ride, especially first timers.
Faithful and devout are perfect words to describe our dad. His spiritual beliefs were ingrained in him and comprised who he was. He and our mother were longtime members of the Kimberly Church of the Nazarene. Russ was preceded in death by his parents, sister Doris, and son-in-law, Dallas Flisher. He is survived by his wife Norma, Twin Falls, daughters Debbie Flisher, Boise; Teresa Primm (Jim) Twin Falls; Sandy Rayborn (Randy) Twin Falls, sister Lilah Watson of Twin Falls, grandchildren Tyler, Brandon, Heidi, Reggie, Kerry, Jordan, and Jared, and great-grandchildren Kyler, Rylee, Norah, Reece, Grayson, Ryder, Carly, Konnor, Elias, and Killian.
Special thanks to Jim and Cathy Lynch and Willowbrook Assisted Living for the exemplary care you gave to Dad. Thank you to Stevani, Patty, Tabitha, Shyanne, Briana, Karina, Jennifer, and Hannah for your loving care and compassion you showed to Dad throughout his stay there and into his final days. Also, thank you Amanda and Carl from Visions Hospice. Our family is grateful and appreciative.
A memorial service is planned for May 3, 2019, 2:00 PM at Rosenau Funeral Home. Condolences can be left at www.rosenaufuneralhome.com.