Audrey M. Gatlin (nee Meyer) wife of retired Air Force Brigadier General Jesse C. Gatlin, Jr., died at her family home December 13, 2013 at 88 years old, after a long ordeal with Alzheimer’s Disease. She was born in 1925 in Merrick Long Island, New York. After graduating Mepham High School, she enrolled in the WWII Cadet Nurses Corp training. She met her future husband, then a Cadet at the US Military Academy West Point in 1943. They married June 9, 1945, shortly after his graduation.
The hinge pin of the family, Audrey coordinated her family’s many moves during their 31+ years of active duty, including tours in Austria, Germany, Canada and their career capstone assignment at the Air Force Academy from 1957 to retirement in 1977. They lived the remainder of their 68 years of marriage at their home on Roller Coaster Road.
Her career was supporting her husband, raising her children and volunteering: 46 years serving weekly at the Officers’ Wives Club Thrift Shop, 10+ years as Treasurer of the Retired Officers’ Wives Club, and as President of the Active Duty Wives Club in 1968. In 2005, she was presented the Longest Serving Volunteer Award for her 42 years of continuous services to the USAFA.
Always athletic, she and Jesse were avid tennis players well into their 80’s. She was also Jesse’s teammate off the court, assisting him for 25 years volunteering as Teacher of the Friday Literature classes at the Colorado Springs Senior Center. Well-traveled, they attended 127 weeks of U.S. and International Elderhostel programs from 1987 to 2007.
Audrey is survived by her husband, and 4 children: Jesse C. Gatlin III, retired Army Colonel and his wife Ann; Donna, wife of retired Air Force Colonel Craig Hinman; John Robert Gatlin “J.R.,” real estate investor, who devoted the last 2 years as Audrey’s fulltime caretaker; and Joseph Gatlin “Joe,” a senior buyer at Springs Fabrication, Inc. in Colorado Springs. These 4 children gave Audrey “Tutu” 8 grandchildren, and so far, 9 great-grandchildren.
A visitation (9AM) and Rosary Service (10AM) will be held Saturday, December 21, at the Shrine of Remembrance “America the Beautiful” Chapel.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, January 3, 2014 at the United States Air Force Academy Community Center Chapel (you must have a Department of Defense ID or have someone in your vehicle that has one).
A Celebration of Life will be at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 4, 2014 at Liberty Heights Retirement Community, 12105 Ambassador Drive, Colorado Springs 80921.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Audrey’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org).
Email condolences to: TutuGatlin@gmail.com