September 5, 1923- August 6, 2013
Resident of Santa Cruz
John was born in San Francisco to Sultana and Constantine (Gus) Contos, Greek immigrants, and grew up in the Richmond District. He was proud to be from The City, loved its natural beauty, history, culture and the memories he had there. John attended George Washington High School where he enthusiastically served as student body president and graduated in 1941. He went on to attend the University of San Francisco, graduating in 1948 and earning a Law Degree in 1951, the first of his family to attend college.
During WWII, John served as a sergeant in the Army Air Corps where he was stationed in Italy and earned several honors.
John spent much of his childhood in the family grocery store and was working there on August 17th, 1942 when Martha Carp walked into the store. Their love affair continued for 71 years and Martha was the great love and light of his life. John and Martha married on June 15, 1947 and raised four children, living in San Francisco, Millbrae, San Carlos, Menlo Park, and then retiring in Scotts Valley.
The majority of John's career was spent working for a number of large insurance companies in the financial district of SF, and later in Menlo Park.
A true gentleman, John will be remembered by all he touched for his love of people, his generous kindness, and his romantic heart. He expressed genuine happiness each day of his life, always offering a song and a warm smile to those he loved. Music gave him endless joy and from Broadway musicals to the big band sounds, John loved the music of his generation. Although he worked diligently all his life, his focus was always on family. Showing love and support every day, John provided a shining light of optimism and never forgot to put others first. He was truly the best of the greatest generation.
John is survived by is beloved wife of 66 years, Martha Contos, and his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his three siblings and his grandson.
The family would like to express sincere appreciation to all the staff of Maple House II, to the Palliative Care Program at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and to Hospice of Santa Cruz County for the loving care John received in his final days. Contributions in his memory can be made to Hospice of Santa Cruz County, 940 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066. Please visit www.pacificgardenschapel.com to light a candle for John and share any condolences with his family.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Aug. 17, 2013