After 92 years of life, John Chojnacki gracefully entered his Lord's heaven on December 23, 2012. A native of Ohio, John became a member of the U.S.15th Air Force and top turret gunner of a B-17 bomber in World War II. While stationed at Sterparone Field in Italy, his crew flew 30 missions. In 1943, he married his first wife, Beth, a member of the Rosie the Riveter team.
In 1952, John and Beth followed Route 66 to California where they raised their family in Alta Loma. Their surviving children are Patricia Lewis (Roger); Susan Shotthafer; Charles Chojnacki; Judith Troia; and Rebecca Boyd
John, a skilled craftsman, built his home by himself. He was most proud of his family, the building of his home, and his military service to his country.
John enjoyed sharing his garden's fruits and vegetables with family and friends. For about a decade, he sold Christmas trees from his tree farm. Though he earned no profit, he said the joy of returning customers and their families that made his effort worthwhile.
John coached little league and led Boy Scout troops. As the oldest volunteer, at age 81, John worked to retrofit the Old Stone Church of Cucamonga where he attended church. He loved dogs and, in his late eighties, volunteered at the Humane Society
John's children express gratitude to their sister Rebecca and her husband, Kenton, for their watchful and diligent care of their father during his last years. They also thank Judith for her assistance to their father.
John was predeceased by Beth and his second wife Theresa whom he married in 1999. He has 10 grandchildren: Kenneth, Keith, Sophia, Fionnbharre, Lisa, Paula, Dustin, Ethan, Hannah, Jessica and 15 great grandchildren from his marriage with Beth.
John's memorial service at Stone Funeral Home, 355 West Ninth Street, Upland, California is January 7th, at 11:00 AM. Visitation is at 9:30 AM. In place of flowers, the family believes their father would prefer donations to the Salvation Army https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/page.aspx?pid=207#tribute.
Published in Inland Valley Daily Bulletin on Jan. 2, 2013