John Carlisle

July 19, 1928December 22, 2012

John “Jack” Griffin Carlisle, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend, neighbor, fisherman, trivia champion, Marine, avid reader, hunter, music lover, story teller, master gardener, gifted chef, Hemingway and history enthusiast, passed away peacefully with his whole family at his bed side on December 22nd.

Jack was born in Greenville, Pennsylvania on July 19, 1928 to Dorothy Louisa Cornish and Almus Waldo Carlisle. He was raised in Youngstown, Ohio and always being a great athlete, played football at Ohio State. He was a Sergeant in the Marines and a Four Star General at home. He was stationed at El Toro in California where he was jet engine specialist before moving to Sutherlin, Oregon to join his father. He worked at Martin Brothers Timber Company and it was there that he met the love of his life, Betty Jean Hanson. They were both Sunday School teachers and were married in 1953 and moved to West Salem, where he spent the rest of his life. He made his living in sales. He was a true Oregonian—he loved the rain and cold weather. He enjoyed fishing in the mountain streams and the ocean and he loved to hunt with family at Sprout’s Meadows. He had five daughters and all of them learned to throw a football, but only one learned to fish. He was a strict father with a tender heart and a pillar of strength to family and friends. He was passionate about history—especially WWII and was proud of his immense library. He was an avid reader and regularly had 5 novels going at a time. He was deeply appreciative of the male company of his 3 son-in-laws. He was blessed with four grandchildren. They were the sunshine of his later life.

Jack leaves behind his wife of almost 60 years, Betty Carlisle; his five daughters, Erin Carlisle, Lisa Carlisle-Pope, Andrea Bentson, Jacque Carlisle, and Jeanne Carlisle Majerus; son-in-laws Daniel Pope, John Bentson and Michael Majerus; his four grandchildren, Madalyn Carlisle, Justine Pope, Alexander Pope and Andrew Pope; his best friend and cousin Buck Cornish, many cousins, nieces, nephews and special family friend Cricket Mata. He was preceded in death by his sister Marion; brothers, Buddy, Russell, Sam, Calvin, Howard and George.

There will be a Celebration of Life on Saturday, December 29th at 2pm at the Reed Opera House, Trinity Ballroom, 189 Liberty St NE, Salem OR 97301. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to: Scleroderma Foundation, Evergreen Chapter; Salvation Army, Oregon Food Bank or a charity of your choice.


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, December 29, 2012

John Carlisle

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Staff of Howell-Edwards-Doerksen with Rigdon-Ransom Funeral Directors

December 28, 2012

Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.

Bob and Debbie Wallin

December 28, 2012

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Carlisle family in their loss. We did have the opportunity to know John personnaly. One way to know the stature of a man, is the family that he leaves behind, and John has left a wonderful legacy. We are truly blessed by his wonderful wife and his great daughters and grandchildren.