John Cyril Arko passed away on February 10, 2013 at the age of 87. He was born in Pasadena, California on September 25, 1925 to Ignatius Arko and Mary Lasich.
Eager to see the world, John enlisted in the Navy at his first opportunity and proudly served in the Pacific during World War II
. While quiet about the war, he shared his love of travel and foreign countries visited, hoping someday to return to his favorite location, Australia.
Upon completion of his service, John returned to Pasadena and in August 1947 married "the girl next door" Betty Johnson. John and Betty had many shared passions including their family, traveling, summers in Yosemite, competition of any kind including bridge. John and Betty were fabulous bridge players!
After college, John moved his family from Pasadena to Lodi for his first job as a computer programmer at Diamond Walnut Company. Yep, there actually were computer programmers in the 1950's and John was proud of his work in the "early days" of computers. The work fit John's personality, quiet, disciplined, focused and always searching for a puzzle he could not complete. He never found one.
After his retirement from Sunsweet, John and Betty had a greater opportunity to enjoy their family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. John continued to enjoy sports and competition of any kind, pitching for his softball team well into his late 70's.
A deeply spiritual man, John was a member of St. Anne's Catholic Church for over 56 years, where he proudly sung in the choir, and demonstrated that faithful service to his family and all who know him.
Above all, John thought his greatest accomplishment and joy of his life was the shared love of his family. John was predeceased by his parents, daughter Laurie Arko Dredla his brother Frank Arko and great-grandchild Noah Dredla.
He is survived by his loving wife Betty, his children Stephen (Wendy) Arko of Papillion, Nebraska, and Julie (Mark) Sey of Woodbridge, six grandchildren - Carissa (Matt) Dillon, Adam (Mary) Arko, Jenna Arko, Melissa (John) Glambastlani, Scott (Christina) Turner, and Russell (Hilary) Dredla, twelve great-grandchildren, his brothers Bob, Leo and Nace Arko and sisters Betty M. Arko and Tess Whalen.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, February 14th, 3pm to 8pm at Cherokee Memorial Funeral Home, 831 Industrial Way, Lodi.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, February 15th, 10am at St. Anne's Catholic Church, 215 West Walnut Street in Lodi. Internment will immediately follow at Cherokee Memorial Park, Harney Lane at Highway 99.
Contributions can be made to Hospice of San Joaquin, and the Loel Foundation Inc, 105 S. Washington, Lodi, CA.