Aug. 23, 1923 - Feb. 16, 2013
Resident of Castro Valley
John passed away peacefully at his home in Castro Valley, Calif., February 16, 2013. He was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, August 23, 1923. He was preceded in death by Louise, his wife of 64 years.
In 1942, John joined the U.S. Navy
and served as Shipfitter First Class (SF1c) at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Submarine Base until honorably discharged in 1946. Returning to Oakland, Calif., he attended trade school to learn furniture upholstery and soon started working for his friend and mentor Ed Miranda, who taught him everything about running a successful upholstery business. John was very proud of the volunteer work he did with the Dad's Club at Vannoy Elementary School in Castro Valley during the 1950s. Through his leadership, the Club held many well-attended fun events to raise funds to enrich the school's programs. Everyone who knew him will always remember John's sense of humor and his kind regard toward others. His fine craftsmanship as an upholster lives on in many homes around Oakland, Montclair, and Piedmont. You can see his handy work on the vintage upholstered furniture at the Paramount Theater.
John is survived by his daughters Barbara Barker and Geri Freitas; granddaughter Candy Barker-Glanz and her husband Eric Glanz; grandson Sammy Barker; grandson (and business partner) James Luker and his wife Iyesha Luker, and great-grandchildren Brent Luker and Elayna Luker. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Joan, brother Tony, sister Theresa, many wonderful colleagues, kind neighbors, and caring friends. John will be greatly missed. A celebration of his life will be held at his home Sat., March 2, 2013, 1:00PM to 4:00PM.