Jerald (Jerry) Laverne Klatt January 24, 1944 – December 28, 2021

 

Last updated 1/19/2022 at Noon

Farewell to a true cowboy.

Jerry was born in Turtle Lake, North Dakota, to parents Herman H. Klatt and Edna Ella (Leib) Klatt, and was the oldest of nine children, six boys and three girls. The family lived and farmed in Washburn, North Dakota until 1956 when they moved to California, settling in Corona.

He began his schooling at age 5 in a one-room schoolhouse with two other children and finished his education in Corona, California. He regretted not being able to enlist in the Marine Corps due to a physical deferment. He met Nancy Henderer in Corona in 1964, and they were married in 1967. They lived in Riverside, California, before moving to Sisters, Oregon in July, 1968. Jerry and Nancy have three daughters, Julie Klatt (Tony Chichelli), Kelley Pellerin (Draman Sanyang), and Kerry DeGuzman (Raffy).

Sisters was home to the family for many years, where they raised sled dogs, horses, and started raising cattle in 1976. Some of Jerry’s proudest moments were racing his dogs professionally in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, and British Columbia from 1966 to 1988. All of the family participated with him in this endeavor. In 2008 he fulfilled a dream of going to Alaska and being a handler for an Iditarod team.

Many types of work kept Jerry busy over the years. He obtained his CDL in 1967 in California, working for Sunkist Corp. After moving to Oregon his first job was driving a water truck and then a log truck. He learned to operate all kinds of heavy equipment, specializing in backhoes and excavators. He did much of the early work at Black Butte Ranch, worked six seasonal appointments with the Deschutes National Forest, and helped with the early land clearing at Aspen Lakes Golf Course in Sisters.

The work that brought him the most enjoyment was training horses and dogs and working with his cattle. He always enjoyed being involved with his family’s activities. He lived by the Cowboy Code all his life.

After the girls were grown, Jerry and Nancy moved in 1998 to a small, irrigated ranch in Culver. They began building their herd of Piedmontese cattle and were known as one of the largest breeders in Oregon. They sold bulls, calves, breeding stock, and had a successful locker beef business. Horses originally brought Jerry and Nancy together and they continued to have several head of Arabian horses, standing two stallions at stud, and participated in horse shows and track racing.

Jerry had been receiving hospice care since September, after declining further treatment for cancer. The family is grateful to all the wonderful doctors, nurses, and hospice staff who took such good care of him.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughters Julie, Kelley, and Kerry; and three grandchildren, John Michael Pellerin, Jordan Pellerin, and Alexis Hiner (Riley); and great-granddaughter, Willow Jeane Hiner. Also surviving are five siblings: Marvin Klatt (Kathy), Brian Klatt, Sherri Williams (John), Joyce Winstead (Larry), and Judy Klatt, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Also a cousin but always considered an older brother, Gary Klatt (Edna) of Florida. He was pre-deceased by both of his parents, and brothers Larry, Dennis and James.

No services are planned but we will plan a Celebration of Life in the New Year.

 

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