Obituary of John Giudici
John Anthony Giudici was born April 15, 1921 in Hollister, California. Born on a dairy farm in an area “not in town”, called Bolsa Flatts, near Soap Lake, he was the fifth of six children born to Antonio Pietro Giudici (born in Sweden) and Emma Calhoun Giudici (born in West Virginia). Antonio ran the dairy farm, making Jack cheese to sell in San Francisco, and making wine for their own use.
John loved his life on the farm, although he would never milk cows, but he did a lot of other chores, including shoveling manure. For extra money he took any job he could find. He picked fruit and vegetables, dug holes and irrigation ditches, worked in the cannery with pineapples (which he never did again!), and just about anything else you could think of. John always carried a gun.
After Pearl Harbor, John signed up with the Marines because he didn’t want to be drafted into the Army. He was accepted immediately as he was the best marksman they had ever tested. He didn’t miss one single shot on the range. He served in the Pacific Islands, last stationed in Guam. Believe it or not, John died on Guam! He was pronounced dead and put in an area for burial. However, and luckily, one of the corpsmen noticed that John was still warm and rushed him back into the hospital area. To this day, John’s name is on the casualty list on Guam. A few years ago, John was honored by the Marines, and on Guam, for his service in the Pacific with a plaque with a photo of the war memorial there. John was always proud to be a Marine.
After the war, John worked as a bus driver for the San Jose City Lines (now the VTA) and volunteered as a Union Pacific Railroad police officer. He married Norma Bender on July 3, 1947, and lived the rest of his life in Santa Clara, California. This past July they celebrated their 71st Wedding Anniversary. The two of them had a long and happy life together. They remodeled their historic 1881 Victorian home together and traveled and lived in their 1971 GMC Suburban every year, visiting every state in the US. On their travels, they loved to root around old dumps in the middle of nowhere, visit ghost towns, and as the years went by, they knew the best places to find the good stuff. They collected railroad memorabilia, insulators, rocks and gems, china, and bottles. They loved to attend auctions and visit antique stores and thrift shops. They traveled pretty much all year when they both retired in the 80’s. John stopped driving around 2009 and their traveling ended.
John enjoyed gardening, working on and puttering around the house, walking, wheeling and dealing with his collections, and visiting with friends and family, and was a lifetime member of the NRA. Both he and Norma were active with and volunteered at the Santa Clara Senior Center.
John passed away quietly in bed on July 25th. He was preceded in death by his parents, Antonio and Emma; his five siblings, Raymond Giudici, Mary Giudici, Joseph Giudici (a WWII Navy Veteran), Rose (Bunchie) Giudici Thoman, and Anne (Nina) Giudici Donovan; and many other family members and friends.
He is survived by his wife, Norma Bender Giudici, and many cousins, nieces and nephews, and dear friends.
A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, July 31st at 11:00 a.m. at Calvary Cemetery, 1100 Hillcrest Road, Hollister. Full military honors will be provided by Local VFW Post 9242.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, August 11th at 2pm, at the home of Bill and Georgia Campbell, 711 North 7th Street, San Jose, CA, 95112
Donations are preferred to the Carmelite Monastery in Santa Clara, CA c/o the mortuary.