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Delano, CA 93215
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John Holguin Espinoza

1925 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
John Holguin Espinoza Obituary
John Holguin Espinoza 1925 - 2013 John Holguin Espinoza was born in Delano, California on May 25, 1925. He was one of 12 children born to Martin Espinoza and Manuela Holguin Espinoza. John, or better known in the community of Delano as Johnny, was educated in Delano schools. Having barely turned 18 in 1943, and seeing most of his friends join the service in time of war, Johnny dropped out of school to serve his country. He enlisted in the navy and during WWII, saw action in the South Pacific where he engaged in the major battles of Saipan and Tarawa. This participation earned him several naval decorations. After being honorably discharged from the navy in 1946, he returned to Delano. Johnny was always a firm believer in the benefit of education and immediately returned to school to obtain his high school diploma. After obtaining his diploma he continued on and attended Bakersfield College. In 1950 he became a barber and opened his own shop in 1955. He was very proud of the barbers under his tutelage that went on to open their own shops. In 1966 he opened the first state of the arts barber salon of its kind on the West Side of Delano. He was an excellent barber and became highly sought after for his outstanding haircuts. Many of his clients were 6th generation customers as he had been cutting hair for well over 60 years; and did so even on the last day of his life. Johnny Espinoza was a community activist. His political activism began with attending one of the first meetings of the Latin American Citizens Association (LACA), whose primary purpose was to enlist veteran participation in the abolishment of segregation in the schools, theatres, churches, restaurants and the public swimming pool in Delano. He believed in a citizen's right to vote, and registered citizens for many years in his barbershop. His community activities included membership in the Westside Businessmen Association, Mexican American Chamber of Commerce, Delano District Democratic Club, Mexican American Political Association, American Legion, Delano Planning Commission, Veteran of Foreign Wars of Mexican American Ancestry and was one of the founders of the Mexican American Pioneers. The VFW of Mexican American Ancestry provided scholarships for the children of Mexican American Veterans, and he enjoyed serving on the scholarship committee. Johnny was also instrumental in fundraising for the building of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. One of his proudest moments was to be selected as the 1990 Grand Marshal for the Cinco de Mayo Parade. Most recently, he was involved in the DUES Educational Foundation, the Stan Beyer Memorial Committee and the Pioneer School Recognition Committee. Johnny came from humble beginnings and honored others by treating them with respect and dignity. He was an extremely generous person and always extended a helping hand. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. Johnny leaves a legacy of having made a profound difference in the lives of Delano residents. He was well liked and had many friends and acquaintances that respected and admired him. He was a pillar in the Delano community. He married Beatrice "Coto" Arambula Espinoza in 1949. A son Andrew John Espinoza was born in 1955. Johnny loved his family, and encouraged his wife and son to get their college degrees. He loved to travel and took them on many adventurous trips abroad. Johnny is preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Beatrice Espinoza. He is survived by his son, Andrew J. Espinoza. He is also survived by a large extended family of Espinozas and Arambulas, all who loved him very much. Visitation will be held at Delano Mortuary-Dignity Memorial at 707 Browning Rd. Delano, CA 93215 on Thursday, October 3, 2013 from 4-8pm; and the rosary service at 5pm. The funeral service will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church 1015 Clinton St., Delano, CA 93215 on Friday, October 4, 2013 at 9:00am. Burial will be at North Kern Cemetery-Delano. Please refer to www.dignity.com/delano-mortuary for further information. www/bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Sept. 29, 2013
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