John Donald Jelletich

03/28/1927 - 03/03/2015 Obituary
John Donald Jelletich Obituary
John was born on March 28, 1927 to Antoinette and Henry. He passed away on March 3, 2015. John grew up in the Casa Loma area of Bakersfield. He attended Casa Loma Elementary School. John went to Kern Union High School with the class of 1945, and played football for the Drillers throughout high school. With his parents blessing, John joined the United States Navy at the age of 17 in late 1944 to serve his country during WWII. John was stationed in the South Pacific during the war and was honorably discharged in 1947.
John attended Pepperdine College from 1947-1949, and Hastings Law School from 1949 - 1952. John began his legal career as a private attorney in 1952 in Bakersfield. He began a 32 year career as Judge, with his appointment to the Buttonwillow Judicial District in 1955, and retired from the Kern County Superior Court in 1987.
John met the love of his life, Sammye McGrath and they married on Halloween 1953. They raised four sons, Patrick, Scott, Michael, and Matthew.
John had a love for all sports. He had a strong devotion to attending all of his sons games. John loved Bakersfield College Football, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Raiders. He also had a strong passion for auto racing!
John was committed to his Christian faith. He was a 50 year member at Wesley Methodist Church. In His last two years John attended Valley Bible Fellowship
John loved to travel with family. He orchestrated an annual summer vacation of family and friends in Lake Tahoe for fifty years. In retirement John and Sammye travelled to many parts of the world.
John was involved in a multitude of local charities, which included March of Dimes, Teen Challenge, , The Bakersfield Rescue Mission, The Salvation Army, Kern County Probation Auxiliary and served as a waiter at the Guild House.
John was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother Lee Jelletich. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Sammye Jelletich, sons and daughter-in-laws, Pat & Teresa Jelletich, Scott Jelletich, Mike and Brandy Jelletich, and Matt Jelletich, Grandchildren Jacqueline Caviness and Husband Kent, Michelle Jelletich, Antoinette Jelletich, Christian Jelletich, Brittyn Jelletich, Paige Jelletich, and Layton Sand, Great-Grandchildren Bryton Caviness, Dylan Caviness, Julia Caviness, and Sophia Sloan.
Pallbearers will be, Patrick Jelletich, Scott Jelletich, Mike Jelletich, Mike Jelletich, Matt Jelletich, Layton Sand, and Kent Caviness.
Honorary Pallbearers will be, Breck Jelletich, Ken Grosso, Ed Grosso, Dan McGrath, Kenneth Loewen, Ralph McKnight, Sr., Marvin Ferguson, Bob Lewis, Richard Allman, Gino Torregiani, and Fred Giminiani
The Family would like to thank Medical Staffs of San Joaquin Hospital, Kern Medical Center and Pacifica Hospital of the Valley.
A Memorial Service will be held at Valley Bible Fellowship Church on Thursday March 12, 2015 at 11:00 A.M., followed by a Graveside Service at Hillcrest Memorial Park. For additional information please contact Basham Funeral Care at 873-8200.
Basham Funeral Care
Published in Bakersfield Californian from Mar. 8 to Mar. 10, 2015
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