Robert Jay Venn Jr.
Mar. 22, 1924 - June 15, 2013
Robert Jay Venn Jr., age 89, gently passed away on Saturday, June, 15th surrounded by the love of his family and friends. Bob was born in Clovis, California on March 22nd, 1924 to Myrtle and Robert Jay Sr. He is survived by his wife Beverly Crandall Venn. Together they lived a full life in the Central Valley of California where they raised their three sons, Robert Jay III and his wife Marsha, Timothy Cole and his wife Melodie, and Mark Allen (deceased). He leaves behind his sister Jane Abbott of Virginia; five grandchildren, Robert Jay Venn IV, Marissa Venn Moser and her husband Ross, Sally Anne Fischer and her husband Brian, Courtney Cole Hogan and her husband Trevor, and Dirk Allen Venn and his wife Sarah; and four great-grandchildren Emma-Lynn Hogan, Paxton Alexis Moser, Decker Cole Hogan, and Lillian Grace Venn.
Bob spent his childhood on the family ranch in Clovis, California, where working the Venn family vineyards was the way of life. He attended Clovis High School where he was a U.S. High School All-American in baseball. After high school, Bob went on to attend Fresno State College. It was during his time at Fresno State that he met his wife, Beverly Crandall. It was the beginning of World War II and young men were preparing to serve their country. Those who were lucky enough to be chosen as leaders were allowed one year of college before entering the service. Bob was sent to University of Southern California to fulfill his pre-Marine service in uniform. At USC, he joined the prestigious USC football team and was a starter slated to play on the Rose Bowl team of 1944. He was called to active duty by the Marines and missed the opportunity to play the New Years game - Bob instead checked into Officer's Training School in Quantico, Virginia, with the U.S. Marine Corps Tank division. During Bob's training period, President Roosevelt passed away and Bob was selected as the United States Marine Corps. representative to call cadence during the President's funeral procession in Washington DC.
Upon receiving his commission Bob returned to Camp Pendleton, California. Bob and Beverly married in August 1945. The war ended while they were on their honeymoon, and they returned to Fresno State to finish their college degrees. Bob graduated from Fresno State in 1948 and that same year the family moved from Fresno to Modesto. Bob returned to a life in the farming industry, starting with his employment and eventual ownership of the Valley Tractor Equipment Company, a John Deere dealership. His life in Modesto included active participation in the Masonic Lodge, as member, Modesto Rotary Club where he joined his father-in-law Emmett Crandall as a Rotarian, the Modesto Pop Warner youth football league as a founding father, a founding member of the Sportsmen of Stanislaus Club, the Elk's Club, the Quarter Back Club as President, and the Del Rio Country Club as the 1966 President. He was an avid outdoorsman and spent much time fishing and hunting with family and friends, always in search for the perfect fishing hole. In 1974, his love of farming guided him to follow his dream and that of his parents, to farm the land. For the following 28 years, until 2002 and retirement, he was a happy almond grower with his son Tim in West Modesto. He prospered in life and loved his family and friends. He will be at peace forevermore.
The family will have a private gathering in his memory. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in his name to the Children's Crisis Center or Community Hospice.
Published in the Modesto Bee from June 23 to June 24, 2013