We are deeply saddened by the passing of Jerry Gilbreath, age 83, also known as Captain Orange to the golfing community as he was well known for his signature color orange.
Jerry was born in Merced, later moved to Modesto and graduated from Thomas Downey High School. He attended MJC and graduated from Cal Poly State University with a Poultry Degree. He then served in the U.S. Coast Guard. He began his professional career working for Foster Farms, then owned Farmers Lumber in Ceres before selling the business to American Pallet in Oakdale, when he retired to play golf full time.
Jerry and wife Tweetie owned the “JT Ranch” raising purebred Shorthorn beef cattle. Jerry served on the Board of Directors as President of the American Shorthorn Association, and also two years of the California chapter. He was honored as an Ambassador of the Breed during the World Shorthorn Congress in Australia and New Zealand in 1990.
He was an active member of the Oakdale Lions Club for many years, serving on community projects including flag chairman working with the local businesses to place the flags along our city streets. He was a mainstay at the annual Lions Club pancake breakfast and also climbed the clock tower to wind the town clock on a weekly basis. Jerry and his friend Jim Tyson were the idea guys to start the TL Davis sports complex in Oakdale for the youth of the community, that thousands of children have enjoyed since.
At the Oakdale Golf and Country Club, Jerry has been an active member since 1986, served on the board of directors twice, has contributed in the development of the golf course and clubhouse and especially loved the people, staff and fellow golfing buddies. He was proud to shoot his age many times over, enjoyed nine Hole in Ones and was involved in every competitive tournament and golf group possible.
He was well known around area golf courses and people near and far speak of his kindness, joyful demeanor, he always had a big smile and a kind word, an infectious laugh and made everyone feel that they were special. He was always up for a fun adventure.
Jerry will be deeply missed by those that loved him. He shared a love of a lifetime with wife Patricia also known as Pat or Tweetie by those that know them well. Daughter Bonnie Lewis (Paul), and sons Tyler Flaherty (Melissa) and Patrick Behlen (Lilly dog), sister Pat Collins, and three lovely granddaughters.
He lived a good life filled with so much joy, many friends and truly loved his family and close friends. He enjoyed golfing six days a week until very recently and never doubted for a moment that he would be back out there very soon.
Celebration of Life is planned for January 7 at 1 p.m. at the Oakdale Golf and Country Club.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
The Riverbank (Calif.) News
Dec. 21, 2022