WWII War Veteran and Hero John Norman Biotin, died in the loving arms of his wife Mary Lucille (Boyce) at their family home December 17th, 2012.
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He put up a good fight but succumbed at the age of 91. John was born in Sacramento, CA, on November 18, 1921, to Angelo John Boitano and Mary Elizabeth Norman. During his youth, he attended Christian Brother's High School leaving his sophomore year and doggedly returning 50 years later to receive his diploma. He enlisted into the Army in 1942. He attended boot camp at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Later he
left to travel to England to specialize as a paratrooper in Company B, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne. During the Normandy Invasion (D-Day), he jumped at 1:08 AM into a dark sky filled with enemy flak (antiaircraft fire from the German) and landed onto the town of Sainte-Mère-Église. During Market Garden, John jumped into Holland. During this battle in Ophesden, he rescued an injured soldier whose leg was torn off by fire from a Tiger tank's mounted machine. John carried this soldier on his back to the first aid station in a nearby windmill. With quick medical attention, this soldier was saved. Don Patton, the injured soldier, remained a close and loyal friend to John until his death in 1985. While liberating Eindhoven, Holland, John rescued another soldier who was shot in the chest. John remained good friends with this soldier, Charlie Weise, until his death in 1998. After Holland, John was trucked into Bastogne. During the Battle of the Bulge, the 101st surrounded by the Germans were knee deep in snow during Christmas with very little to eat. Each soldier fought steadily without any rations or ammunition. Patton's army later rescued his outfit from the horrible and stormy conditions. John earned a silver star, two bronze stars, and a purple heart for his service in WWII.
John Norman met and married the love of his life Mary Lucille on January 28th, 1956. The two had been previously married to other people and had children. John had two children, Susan and William and Mary Lucille had four children, Charles, David, Arthur, and Melinda. Together, they had three more children, Kenneth, Michael, and Mary Etta.
After John's military service, he opened a machine shop with his partner
Rudy Stadleberger in the tenderloin of San Francisco. They co-owned Atlas Screw Machine Products. He worked as a machinist doing first operation machine work from 1955 to 1983 and then retired to Sonoma, CA with his wife, Mary Lucille. He was a resident of Sonoma for 29 years. John, during the late 1960's, took up running in San Francisco. He and the family were instrumental in starting two of the largest running clubs in San Francisco: the Dolphin South End Runners and the Pamakids. Running became a daily occurrence for John and his family. They logged many hours running Noe Valley where they lived, Twin Peaks, Ocean Beach, Lake Merced, and the Golden Gate Park. He competed in over 40 marathons with his best time 3 hours and 26 minutes. He also placed 35th in the difficult
Dipsea Race. He later served his community coaching cross country at Mercy High School and track at Altimira Middle School.
John served his community driving veterans from Sonoma to their
appointments at the Fort Miley Facility in San Francisco. He proudly
displayed a plaque on the wall of his home for 8750 hours of dedicated volunteer service to the Veterans Department of Veteran's Affairs.
John leaves behind many friends and family. He was a loving husband to Mary Lucille for 56 years. He was the adored father of Susan Miller, William Boitano (Roberta), Charles White, David White, Arthur White, Melinda White (Darrell Jeong), Kenneth, Michael (Jovita Ibarra), and Mary Etta (Richard Blanchard). He leaves behind many grandchildren who loved him; Rochelle White, Melissa Pett, Janey Stevens, Karen Bagley, John Miller, John Norman Blanchard, Richard Blanchard III, and Angela Boitano. He also leaves behind 12 great grandchildren. He was the dear brother to the late Frances Roberts (John) of SLC and the late Donald Boitano (Maxine) of
Dillion's Beach. He was also an uncle to Kathleen Leonard, John Roberts, and Thomas Kevin Boitano. John also leaves behind sister-in-laws Rita Bressum, (Robert) Marianne Campos and Maxine Boitano. He also loved his sister-in-law, Marguerette (Boyce) Weil who recently died on November 20, 2012 and her husband Raymond Weil. Ray died November 26, 2007. Raymond and John were big fans of cribbage and would play hours on end at the Weil Cabin at Echo Summit, CA.
We are inviting all who knew John to come to Duggan's Mission Chapel on Thursday Dec 20th at 6PM for a rosary vigil. The address is 525 West Napa Street. Memorial mass will be at St. Leo's at 11AM on Friday December 21st. The address of the church is 601 West Agua Caliente Road, Sonoma, CA
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Dec. 20, 2012