He really enjoyed helping other people
John Patras passed away surrounded by family and friends on Jan. 20, 2014, at the age of 98. A bachelor, John said he always seemed to have too many responsibilities as a young man in helping his mother, brothers and sisters, and never got around to getting married.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Julia Patras; his sisters, Lucille and Emily; and his two brothers, Steve and Joe.
He is survived by nieces, Irene Mitchell and Kathleen Herman; and nephews, Bruce Patras, Ron Krautstrunk and Fred Kramer; as well as grandnieces and grandnephews.
Born in a little town near Richmond, Va., on March 14, 1915, he eventually moved with his family to Chicago. Soon he was part of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to help his family survive the Great Depression. Then he hauled steel for five years prior to World War II. He next served for four years in the Army Air Corps. During his service days, he visited his brother who lived in Vallejo. When he tried to return to hauling steel in the Midwest after the war, he found his mind wandering out California’s way – and it wasn’t long before he gathered up his mother and father and moved out here, settling in Sonoma Valley. He was hired as a gardener/maintenance man at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building in 1953 and retired as building manager in 1977. After his retirement, John was able to devote even more time to the real focus of his life, helping others learn about the God he loved, Jehovah.
Soft-spoken, easy-going, John was happiest when he could make others happy by “working things out.” So he became many things to many people and will be missed by scores of people and numerous organizations he personally accommodated for years. Well-liked by everyone, well-loved by many, he will be deeply missed.