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John Sahaida

Obituary Condolences

John Sahaida
1918 - 2014
Resident of Pleasant Hill
Our dad was born on June 21, 1918, in Hazleton PA to Michael Sahaida and Mary Brazina Sahaida. June 21 is the longest day of the year.
John was an officer and a gentleman with an overwhelming sense of humor. I think that's why he lived to 95. He never complained about any problems he might have had and he never criticized others. Instead, he turned his comments into jokes. People never knew when to take him seriously. Once, when I took him to a medical appointment, a nurse approached him and asked, "sir, are you here for an appointment?" He quickly glanced at me then responded, "Well, do you know if the bus to Milpitas stops here?" Of course, she didn't know how to respond. Eventually his sense of humor touched everyone and everyone loved him.
Throughout his life he was involved in the aviation industry. He held various positions with 11 different military bases. In 1943-44 he was a flight instructor at Saufley Field and Berin field in Pensacola Florida; in 1945 he flew the R5D for VR-11 in Honolulu and VRE-1 in the Mariana Islands. From 1947-49 he was the flight control officer with VR-44 at Moffett Field CA. From 1949-52 he was the flight training officer with VR-3 at Petuxant River Maryland. From 1952-55 he was chief pilot and training officer for VR-8 at Hickam Field in Honolulu. From 1955-57 he was a Training officer for VR-22 in Norfolk Virginia. In 1957, he accepted a position as investigator for the Civil Aeronautics board, later known as the Nat'l Transportation Safety Board. These are just a few of the various positions he held.
One of the last positions he held was as Captain of squadron VRE-874 at Alameda CA. This squadron was ranked in 50th place (or last place) of all the competing squadrons. During his two years there, the squadron went from 50th place to 1st place.
John leaves behind two daughters, Michelle 60 and Susan 65 and a grandson tony 45 all from the San Francisco bay area. He also leaves his brother, George, and wife Mary, of Seattle; his sister Anne, of Harrisburg pa and another brother, Ernie, of Long Island.
Above all he was a wonderful, wise, kind and compassionate gentleman who took the time to listen to those who confided in him.
I don't know how we will handle life without our dad. We will miss him very much and we will always remember his courage and commitment to keeping our country free. Visitation will be Wednesday, 12 - 1:30 pm at OAK PARK HILLS CHAPEL, 3111 N. Main St., Walnut Creek followed by graveside services will be 2:00 pm Wednesday, January 22 at Oakmont Cemetery, Lafayette
Hopefully he has finally caught that infamous bus to Milpitas. Express condolences at www.oakparkhillschapel.com

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Published in Contra Costa Times on Jan. 21, 2014
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