Veteran dies changing flag – firefighters complete task in his honor

What a bittersweet story (bolded emphasis added by me):

PERRY TWP. — A Korean War veteran apparently died of natural causes Memorial Day while he was attempting to replace a tattered American flag atop his 20-foot TV tower.

A neighbor called 911 after noticing James Catron, 83, of 4243 Meadowlawn Ave. SW, slumped over on the tower next to his house Monday morning, according to Rick Walters, Stark County Coroner’s Office investigator.

Perry Township Fire Department paramedics responded and lowered Catron, who was unresponsive, to the ground. Catron was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:20 a.m.


Catron’s wife, Betty, told Walters she had been outside watching her husband but, at one point, decided to go back into the house.

“I guess he climbed it a couple of times a year to change that (flag),” Walters said. “I guess the neighbor gave him the flag. The new flag was in the garage.”

Later on Monday, Perry firefighters returned to Catron’s house to replace the flag, according to Deputy Fire Chief Larry Sedlock. Firefighters used a ladder truck to access the TV tower.

“It was Memorial Day, and he was trying to be patriotic. It was the only thing we could do to help out,” Sedlock said.

RIP, Mr. Catron.

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