Jack Santiago Calderon

Our dad, Jack Santiago Calderon, was born Feb. 23, 1932, in Pasadena, California, to Clarence Calderon and Beatrice Valenzuela. Dad passed away on July 6, 2019, in Santa Barbara. That day was my birthday. It was a gift from my dad. 

Jack served in the Korean War conflict from 1947 to 1952 at the age of 13. He got to see the world while defending our freedom.

He was given the Bronze Star, Silver Star, and the Coveted Purple Heart for being wounded during combat.

Upon returning through San Francisco in August of 1951 with 4,289 Korean War vets, he came back to Santa Barbara to meet up with the love of his life, Dee Quevedo Calderon. They married on Feb.14, 1953, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

Jack Santiago Calderon

Wanting to make a better life for his family, Jack started his own business, Mission Carpet and Cleaning Service. He ran the business for many years, until he retired and gave the business to his son, Chuck Calderon. 

Jack was the commander of the Korean War Veterans #235 of Santa Barbara; he served for many years. It brought Dad joy to be around all the men who went through the same thing he did, fought for their country.

It took him years to share the history of the war. He did a great job and shared his stories with his family. He was also a member of the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment (Rakkasans) and the 5th Regimental Combat Team.

Our Dad was a Descendant of Presidio de San Francisco, Presidio de Santa Barbara and El Puebla de la Reina de Los Angeles. He had been my Key to the Past. His Father and Mother were also descendants.

Now my dad Jack has passed the Key to the Past on to his daughter, Suzi.

Losing the love of his life, Dee, Jack found happiness through his children, who stood by their dad for the rest of his life.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence in 1987, and Beatrice in 1946; his older brother, Elmer R. Calderon in 2000; and the love of his life, Dee, in 2007.

He is survived by his nine children: Martha (Mike Vieira) of San Luis Obispo; Mary (Steve Carbajal) of Ventura; John Calderon of Santa Barbara; Ann (James Schroeder) of Spokane, WA; Suzi (Rocky Bellman) of Santa Barbara; Betty (Ray Ramos) and Joseph (Kari Kuchaeck Calderon) of Scottsdale, Arizona; Charles (Elodia) of Solvang; and Daniel Calderon (Pamela Galvin) of Santa Barbara.

Dad is also survided by 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Most of us Calderon children and his brother Joe were able to be with our dad as he was going to heaven. I also made him a poster of all nine of us letting him know that “We Love You Dad, FOREVER.” That made Dad happy.

A memorial service will be held on July 13 at Welch-Ryce-Haider Mortuary, corner of State and Sola streets in Santa Barbara. Viewing will be noon-2 p.m., when the memorial starts.

— Suzi Calderón Bellman