Cover photo for James Vernon John's Obituary
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James Vernon John

March 2, 1934 — April 12, 2024

Fremont/Rocklin, California

James Vernon John

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Our dear father, grandfather, and great grandfather James Vernon John passed away peacefully at his home in Rocklin, California of natural causes on Friday, April 12, 2024, at the age of 90. James was much beloved and brought joy and light to his family and friends. He is survived by his daughter Charlene Bennett and her husband Larry Bennett, his son David John and his wife Gayle John; grandchildren Michael Goodness, Jessica Goodness, Madyson Lawlor and her husband David Lawlor, and Drayton John and his wife Brianne John; great grandchildren Presley Goodness and Allira Goodness; and many family members in Northern California, Oklahoma, and the Philippines. In his later years, James was dutifully cared for by his daughter Charlene, Charlene’s husband Larry, his caregivers Tess and Francis, and finally caregivers Alice and Joe. His family and his caregivers were very dedicated to James and did everything they possibly could to keep him healthy, happy, and comfortable.

Born in Garvin, Oklahoma on March 2, 1934, James went on to live the American dream and become an American hero. As a young man he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Once completing his duty in the Army, James joined the U.S. Navy. He sailed on the USS Ticonderoga, a World War II-era aircraft carrier, and the USS Shanghai-La. His time in the military would take him around the world and help shape the course of his life. Perhaps his time in the Navy most impacted his life while he was stationed in the Philippines in the late 1950s. While in Olongapo, he attended a celebratory parade where he saw a beauty pageant winner—Miss Visayas—riding on the back of an open car. He introduced himself to the beauty queen, whose name he learned was Maria. This chance meeting would lead to a life-long love story, a beautiful family, and a happy life for James and Maria who were married on November 4, 1959.

The happy couple lived in California in the early 1960s, but after a few years they moved as the Navy stationed James in Japan. The Johns lived in Japan for four years and had the opportunity to experience a foreign culture as they grew together as a family. After Japan, James and his family returned to California, settling in Union City and Fremont for many years, before relocating to Brentwood to be closer to his family. After more than two decades in the Armed Forces, James retired from the Navy and switched careers. He became a postman for the U.S. Postal Service, where neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night could stop him from the swift completion of his appointed rounds. He dutifully served as a postman for 20 years.

James lived the American dream. Coming from very humble beginnings as a Choctaw Indian living in a small Oklahoma town, he traveled the world, stayed married to the love of his life for more than 63 years, and had a loving family he provided for and protected. James was an American hero. He proudly and gallantly served his country in the Army and Navy, and he nobly served his country as a postman.

He was a lover of sports who often had a football or baseball game playing on the television. Specifically, he was an avid fan of the Oklahoma Sooners and the Dallas Cowboys. His dislike for the NFL’s Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers, and the San Francisco Giants was well known and a common source of jokes and taunts to his family and friends who were fans of those teams. He had a sweet tooth and loved preparing his famous pecan pies for family gatherings, requesting that his granddaughter Madyson bake him his favorite strawberry cake, and hiding candy and sweets from his caregivers who were concerned about his sugar intake. James’s family enjoys reminiscing about his love for his BMW 5 series luxury car, his chauffeur duties driving his wife Maria to and from her bingo business ventures, his business partnership with his wife in selling Avon, and his love for both teasing and doting on the many dogs the family had over the years.

James lived a full, long, and honorable life. He was dedicated to serving his family, his friends, and his country. In the Choctaw language James would certainly be described as yukpa (joyful), achukma (handsome), anli (faithful), hatak hopoksia (a wise man), and haloka (beloved). The Choctaw language has no word for goodbye, rather they use the phrase Chi Pisa La Chike, which means “until we meet again.” Chi Hullo Li, James Vernon John, Chi Pisa La Chike!

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Past Services

Viewing

Monday, April 29, 2024

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Pacific time)

Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel

6920 Destiny Dr,, Rocklin, CA 95677

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Military Honors

Monday, April 29, 2024

2:00 - 2:15 pm (Pacific time)

Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel

6920 Destiny Dr,, Rocklin, CA 95677

Military honors will begin promptly at 2:00 pm. Pacific Daylight Time.

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Funeral Service

Monday, April 29, 2024

2:15 - 4:00 pm (Pacific time)

Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel

6920 Destiny Dr,, Rocklin, CA 95677

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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