John Charles Chatham
John Charles Chatham “Jack” passed away on December 24, 2019. Jack was born in Seagraves, Texas on June 2, 1949 to Woodrow and Norma Chatham. He was the youngest of three children, with his sister Sue, and his older brother Bryan. His father worked for Fluor Corporation in the oil industry and throughout their childhood they moved 37 times from the Midwest to the West Coast. They were a tight-knit family who spent every summer visiting his Aunt Clara Belle in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They also visited Amoret numerous summers and worked on Uncle Toodles farm. Every Saturday growing up as a family they worked on cars together and that’s why Jack had such a love for Corvettes. In his lifetime he owned five Corvettes. As a family they made a final residence in Anaheim, CA where Jack graduated from Loara High School in 1967. He spent his first year of college at UC Davis, and graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Business Degree and studied his masters at USC.
His first job out of college was working for AAA in Los Angeles and then he went to work for Sitmar Cruises in Century City, CA. He moved up the corporate ladder quickly and was one of the youngest Vice Presidents for Sitmar Cruises. Some of his co-workers gave him the nickname “Platinum Jack”. He spent a very successful career in the travel industry working for Sitmar Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Regency Cruises and Star Clippers in Finance, Sales and Marketing. He spent 17 years at Star Clippers as President of the Americas based in Miami, FL. He traveled the world extensively and loved sharing that he visited Monaco over 60 times. He cruised all over the world, but his favorite travel experience was an African Safari, and taking a train across Russia. One of the greatest pleasures Jack ever got was gifting his parents with over 40 cruises with the companies he worked for. He lived in Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Manhattan, South Korea, Miami and finally retired in Butler, Missouri. Jack was tremendously fond of being on the water. He owned a 40 foot boat and lived on it for 17 years in Miami and Coconut Grove, FL with his dogs Taffy and Tickles. He also enjoyed taking his boat to the Florida Keys.
Prior to retirement in 2014 Jack purchased a home in Butler, Missouri and spent his remaining years close to where his mother was raised in Amoret. Every Friday he would donate his time as a docent to the Kansas City Automotive Museum. He shared his passion for cars with his brother Bryan who built two hot rods: a 1926 Red Ford Model T and a 1927 Yellow Zipper. He enjoyed driving the Model T around Butler with his dog Tickles. Every Saturday he would visit Martha’s Bake Shop and would have biscuits and coffee with everyone there. When he left he would purchase pies and cookies and take them home with him - he sure did have a sweet tooth.
Jack enjoyed cooking and it started when he was living in Murrieta. At one time he made 30 different types of meatloaf that he served to his family. He enjoyed bbq’ing on his boat in Florida and in Butler he enjoyed making homemade bread and elaborate dinners every evening. He would rate his food “Muy Bueno” and send photos to his sister and brother.
Jack has one of the biggest hearts and was a major contributor to House of Hound in Butler. He loved dogs and treated his dogs like children. He loved animals of all kinds and rescued birds as a child. He always had bird feeders and bird houses wherever he lived.
Throughout the last couple of years he found a passion in attending concerts in Kansas City. He saw: Katy Perry, Pink, Lady Gaga, Imagine Dragons, Sam Smith, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Camila Cabello and Miley Cyrus. He also was able to see the musical Hamilton and Beach Blanket Babylon in San Francisco, CA.
He is survived by his older brother Bryan and Cathy Chatham in San Diego, CA; his older sister Sue and Barney Woodward in Murrieta, CA; and his nieces Rachel and Jacqueline Woodward in Los Angeles, CA, Connie Rooney in McKinney, TX, and nephew Woodrow Bryan III “LB” in Odessa, Texas. He will forever be missed but will live with each of us every day. He wanted to live one more day, every day- to always do better than the day before.
A private viewing was held 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday, December 28, 2019 at Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel (660-679-6555) Butler, Missouri. Cremation to follow viewing. Inurnment at a later date in Odell Cemetery, Excelsior Springs, Missouri. Online condolences www.schowengerdtchapel.com.