December 2, 1929 - July 6, 2014
John passed away peacefully, after a lengthy illness, surrounded by family at Villa Siena Retirement Community in Mountain View, California, on Sunday, July 6th at the age of 84.
John was born in Maywood, California on December 2, 1929, and grew up with his parents, Harvey and Opal Evans in La Canada and Laguna Beach, California. He attended Flintridge Preparatory School in LaCanada and the University of Missouri School of Mines in Rolla, Missouri. While attending college and majoring in Petroleum Engineering, he met the love of his life, Jackie McGann. After his graduation in 1952, they married and John was inducted into the Army Corps of Engineers as a second lieutenant. He served his country in Korea from 1953-1955.
Upon honorable discharge from the Army, the family moved to California and John began his career working for Union Oil in Santa Paula and then Global Marine in Los Angeles. While working for Global Marine, John and his family moved to Melbourne, Australia, where he managed a drilling operation in the Bass Strait between Australia and Tasmania, and then to London, England, where he managed drilling operations in the North Sea and off the coast of Nigeria. After moving around the world, the family returned to California and John and Jackie lived for 42 years in Rancho Palos Verdes.
In 1978, John left the petroleum industry and became an owner of South Bay Electric Supply, an electrical hardware wholesaler. He worked there for eight years and then began his third career, managing and selling commercial real estate.
During his working life and in his retirement, he was an enthusiastic volunteer with SCORE, helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. He volunteered at Torrance Memorial Hospital, providing compassionate service to patients and visitors. He was a member and past president of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club. He was interested in world wide service, especially sending medical equipment to places where it was needed. He loved antique cars and spent countless hours working on the Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance, a major Rotary fundraiser.
In 2008, Jackie passed away and in 2011, John moved to Los Altos to be near family. He was welcomed into the Los Altos Rotary Club and worked on a project to support veterans attending Foothill College and on the Rotary AIDS Project. He volunteered at the Palo Alto VA, serving soup to bedridden veterans and he was a greeter at St. Simon Church. In 2012, he moved to Villa Siena Retirement Community where he was a lector and the chairman of the Resident’s Council. There he met his second love, Peg Carroll and together they enjoyed the two years he lived at the Villa.
John had beautiful sky blue eyes and a wonderfully warm smile. He loved meeting new people, participating in new adventures, facing new challenges and visiting new places. He above all loved his family. He was a dedicated husband, caring for Jackie in her later years before she passed away. He was a loving mentor to his children, Debbie (Paul) Baker of Los Altos, Patti (Ed) Buckels of Torrance, and Jim (Kris) Evans of Valencia. He was an attentive grandfather to his seven grandchildren, Katie (Dave) Swirsding of Mountain View, Julie (Ryan) Broms of Mountain View, Jordan, Emily, Harrison, James and Grace Evans of Valencia, and a doting great-grandfather to Logan and Alison Swirsding and Evan and Austin Broms. John is also survived by his sisters, Marian (Dan) Dart of Michigan and Myra (Marty) Clampitt of Nevada City. He was predeceased by his brother, Robert (Rosie) Gibson.
A Memorial Mass for John has taken place and a grave site interment service for John and Jackie will take place at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes on August 6. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Los Altos Rotary Club or the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club.