John Patrick Tegge, 75, of Caldwell, died Thursday, February 10, 2000, in Hawaii. Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, February 21, 2000, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Caldwell, under the direction of Flahiff Funeral Chapel, Caldwell. The family would like to invite friends to share stories at a reception following services.
John was born April 1, 1924, in Miles City, Montana, to Philomena G. Tegge and Randolf C. Tegge. “Pat,” as most people called him, along with his mother and older brother, Bill, moved to Caldwell, Idaho, in 1930, and bought property at 3rd and Everett which remains in the family today. At the height of the Depression, work was hard to come by for a single mother and at a very young age the boys picked up anything they could sell in their little red wagon.
They would clean heads of lettuce that the grocer would throw out and sell it to the neighborhood ladies. During the cold winter mornings, Pat built the fire in the furnace at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Father Scallon would either be too cold or too warm. He cleaned toilets and spittoons at the taverns to provide for the family. His education started in Caldwell, then he attended Catholic grade school in Nampa and returned to Caldwell High School, graduating in 1943. In high school, he went to work for Clare Weeks at Quality Market.
On June 16, 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. From a young age he enjoyed target practice with his rifle. Because of his marksman ability he was assigned to the special unit, Marine Raiders as a machine gunner. His unit was in the invasion of Guam, participated in action against the enemy at the consolidation of Northern Solomons, Emirau Island, St. Matthias Group and the Mariana Islands. Pat received an honorable discharge on November 8, 1945. He was proud to be a United States Marine.
He returned to Caldwell and worked at Quality Market. He met and married Irene Rinker and moved to Moscow, Idaho, to attend the University of Idaho. While at Moscow his wife returned to Caldwell, where his daughter Patricia was born. He started his career in heavy construction working with Morrison Knudsen and Henry J. Kaiser Construction Co. He worked on large projects such as the St. Lawrence Seaway, Bonneville Dam, The Dalles Dam, the John Day Dam and many large bridges, always returning to Caldwell between jobs.
In 1958, he was a candidate for Caldwell’s first full-time mayor. He was a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Knights of Columbus and Elks Lodge, a forty-two year member of A.F.L. and C.I.O. United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
Pat worked on all the dams on the Columbia River making The Dalles, Oregon, his second home for 19 years, where he met and married Nadine Erickson. He finished his career working in Juneau, Alaska, returning to Caldwell to build their house on the property where he grew up, and started to enjoy retirement. Over the years he obtained private and commercial properties in Caldwell and Honolulu, Hawaii. The family would spend the winter months in Hawaii and summer months in Caldwell. He enjoyed working on antique cars and getting together with classmates and Marine Raiders for reunions. He served as president to the Model T Car Club and twice served as chairman for the 1943 Class Reunion.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Veterans.
Pat is survived by his wife, Nadine; daughter, Patricia Tullius; grandchildren, Mr. and Mrs. Lance R. Tullius, and John R. Tullius; step-children, Tom Gibbons, Debra Sawyer, Jody Martin and Dan Erickson; grandchildren, Erick Madsen, Monica Gibbons, Stacy Sawyer, Lisa Sawyer, Curtis Erickson and Benjamin Erickson.