Dwight Eugene Catlett

9/19/1909  -  6/30/2001




Dwight Eugene Catlett was born September 19, 1909 on the Richard Burton Homestead near Bartley, Nebraska.  His father, the Rev. Charles E. Catlett, was a Methodist minister who served southwest Nebraska towns and was known for his musical ability and programs.  His mother, Lillie Lois Burton Catlett, was a grade school teacher.

Before he was 4, Dwight contracted polio, he had several operations and extensive hospitalizations which nearly corrected the resulting growth problems in his leg.  He attended  Max High School and earned a degree in Physics & Education from Nebraska Wesleyan University.  He did additional graduate work in Music Education at Peru College and  Northwestern University.  He later taught science, math, and music in the Holdrege, Stratton, Crawford, Shelton, and Wymore school systems from 1931 to 1941.

He and Dorothy E. Fetters, of Crawford, Nebraska, were married on May 27, 1936. He worked for the Republican Party with Dorothy, eventually becoming Sarpy County Republican Chairman. From 1941 to 1943 he was an instructor at the War Training Program of the Lincoln Aeronautical Institute and Flying School.  He worked for Western Electric as an electrical engineer in Lincoln and Omaha from 1944 until his retirement in 1974 and was named as inventor on several patents held by Western Electric.  During this period he and Dorothy raised their family in University Place in Lincoln and later in Papillion, Nebraska.

He had a lifetime dedication to community service and to the enjoyment and creation of music.   He directed and sang in many church choirs, participated in community bands and musical productions, and led the Western Electric employees' Weoma Band.  He directed the Omaha Saint Paul United Methodist Community Orchestra.  He helped organize and participated in "kitchen bands" at senior citizen facilities including the Paxton Pacers Rhythm Band that played at a 1981 White House Conference on Aging.  He was a member of the Hastings First United Methodist Church Brass Choir, and played with the Hastings Golden Age Entertainers.
 
Dwight was a life-long member of the United Methodist Church and served on many committees over the years.  He sang in his local church choir most of his life, even while he was directing choirs in other churches.  He taught Sunday School and participated in Methodist Men

 In 1988, Dwight and Dorothy moved to Hastings, Nebraska.  Following Dorothy's death, he married Margaret Rutt of Hastings in 1989.  Margaretís love and companionship enriched the last twelve years of his life.  The extended Rutt family was a joy and source of great pleasure for him.

Dwight was a kind and gentle man.  He was generous with his time and money, and used his musical talents to enrich the lives of people of all ages.  As a father he never criticized or said "I told you so!" after his children made the very mistakes he had warned them about.  As a teacher and director he was patient and thorough.  As a friend he was understanding and loyal.
 
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Richard and Stewart, his first wife Dorothy, and his second wife Margaret.  He is survived by two brothers, Willard Catlett of St. Charles Missouri and Lyle Catlett of Denver Colorado, four children, Charles Catlett of Falls Church Virginia, Judy Christensen of Gaithersburg Maryland, Jean Schwab of Chicago Illinois, and Fred Catlett of Hastings, and eight grandchildren.
 
 


Dwight & Dorothy Catlett in 1963



 
 

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