Jack (John) Wofford Suggs

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Col. (Ret.) Jack (John) Wofford Suggs of Keizer passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 3, 2014.

Born on August 9, 1926 at Ft. Totten, New York, he was the son of the late Lt. Col. (Ret.) John Matha and Grace Suggs. Jack grew up in San Anselmo, Calif., enlisting in the U.S. Army at the age of 17 to serve in World War II.  With the conclusion of WWII, in November 1945 Jack was discharged and returned home.

Jack was accepted to Officer Candidate School with the United States Air Force in 1949. Jack graduated from pilot school in 1953. During the course of his career, Jack advanced to the rank of Colonel in the United States Air Force, as part of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), serving his country in many capacities, ranging from being a pilot to serving in various command positions, including service during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

On February 28, 1974, Jack was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan from September 1972 to February 1974.

Jack retired from March AFB in 1980, being awarded the Legion of Merit Award.

Jack was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from Southern Illinois University, College of Engineering and Technology, in September 1986 and worked in the civilian sector after his retirement from the military.  He and his wife, Jan, moved to Oregon in 1992, settling in Keizer.

Jack was blessed in life with the love of two women, his beloved wife Jan, who he leaves behind, and his first wife, Evelyn Mary Suggs (Matkovich) who predeceased him in 1982.  In addition to his wife, Jan, Jack leaves behind his beloved brother and sister-in-law, Phil and Sharon Suggs of Roseville, CA; his former sister-in-law, Jane Stewart (Jack); six children, Jean Lawler (Tim), Jane Young, Joseph Suggs, Mary Beld (Todd), John Suggs (Sharon) and Dawn Biggs (Derek); 14 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral mass was held at St. Edward Catholic Church with military honors. Burial was held at Willamette National Cemetery, Portland. Arrangements entrusted to Keizer Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services. Online condolences may be left at www.keizerchapel.com.

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