My Uncle’s Obit

I’ve removed some last names, but I am very proud to be part of his family. This is my Uncle John’s Obit.
John Morse B—- was born 26 Oct 1912 in San Jose,
California. He was the first of 6 children born to
John Manuel B—- and Delphina Oliver. His
Grandparents, John Manuel B—- and Maria Joaquina
Rose Coelho were natives of the Pico, Azore Islands.
The Rose Coelho family were the first to come to the
United States and then brought the B—- family over.
The families inter-married and became some of the most
prominent families in the Milpitas area in the late
1800s and early 1900s.
John was raised on a farm in Milpitas where he became
well acquainted with horses from the time he was able
to toddle around.  He had to milk 10 cows each morning
before he left for the Milpitas Elementary School. The
later-to-be horseman graduated from San Jose High
School and attended San Jose State College for a
In the 1930s, John established a considerable
reputation as a dramatic tenor, singing in night clubs, and was a
head-liner in the heyday of vaudeville on the movie
theater circuit. He was known as the Bing Crosby of
From 1947 to 1954, John transported race horses for
Hollywood celebrities such as George Brent, Betty
Grable, Roy Rogers, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Louis
B. Mayer and Harry Warner. He hand-led many top race
horses ranked right up with Man-O-War, considered by
many as the number one race horse of all time.
One of his many experiences when transporting horses
was when he was hauling Citation, Coaltown, Bewitched,
and two other top horses across the Bay Bridge between
San Francisco and Oakland.  The cops knew about it and
stopped him right in the middle of the Bay Bridge just
to see the Big Five.  It backed up traffic for miles.
The San Jose tenor enlisted in the National Guard in
1941, rather than wait to have the peace-time military
draft catch up with him.  He used his musical talents
one more time as the featured artist at a community
send off performance for the department National Guard
contingent held at the San Jose Municipal Auditorium.
His military career was cut short later in 1941 when
he was given a medical discharge at Fort Lewis,
Washington, for a broken leg. Not one to shirk the war
effort, he went to work for the Douglas Aircraft
Company in late 1941 and stayed there until after the
war ended in 1945.
   John then landed his first post-war job in 1945
with the Arden Farms Creamery in Beverly Hills,
hauling about 1,500 cartons of milk each day to
distribution plants in Glendale and Alhambra.  This
was his first experience with operating big trucks.
   His truck driving experience led him to a job in
1947 with the Robinson Turf Express, where he had all
of his experiences with transporting world-class race
horses for motion picture stars and other well known
   On July 8, 1950 John married Catherine Lois Carine
in Yuma, Arizona.  They were not blessed with
   His work at Robinson trucking led B—- in 1954 to
a job as a safety engineer with an insurance company
subsidiary of Lloyds of London in it’s Fresno office.
His responsibilities were to check out drivers and
their trucks for person applying for insurance
   In 1958, B—- established the Blue Ribbon Seed
Company in Fresno when Lloyds closed it Fresno office.
He operated the seed company for 20 years until his
retirement in 1978. After retirement, he and his wife
Catherine moved to Arroyo Grande, where they lived
until Catherine died April 6, 2004.  After Catherine’s
death, John moved to San Jose to be near his brother’s
Arnold and Harold B—-.  During the last 4 years of
John’s life, he enjoyed a very close relationship with
his remaining 3 brother’s and sister-in-laws. His
brother’s have given their time and love, making sure
that John was well taken care of.  His loving
sister-in-laws, Bella and Teresa B—- prepared and
took in meals to John almost daily.  John was very
greatful for those homecooked meals, it meant a lot to
   For the last few weeks of John’s life, his brother
Manuel from Ontario, Oregon moved in with John to help
take care of him.  Manuel said that he wanted to pay
John back for being such a loving, kind brother to him
while he was growing up.
   John leaves behind his beloved brother’s &
sister-in-laws, Arnold & Bella B—- of San Jose;
Harold & Teresa B—- of San Jose; Manuel & Carol
B—- of Ontario, Oregon.  He also leaves behind 17
nephews & nieces and many grand nephews and nieces. He
also leaves behind many dear cousins with whom he had
a very close relationship and his deceased wife
Catherine’s family.   
   John had many dear, close friends who meant
everything to him.  He would talk for days about their
visits to him and of how much it meant to him to know
that they cared.
   He had a caregiver, P———- who was with him
for the last years of his life.  She took good care of
John and made it possible for him to remain at home
rather than go to a rest home. 
   John’s last wish was to live to see his 95th
Birthday. His family and friends were there October
26, 2007, to celebrate his special day. It was a
wonderful birthday for him.  John was a very generous
and loving person, who spent his last few years making
sure that his remaining brother’s would be taken care
of after he was gone.
   John was preceded in death by his parents, his wife
Catherine; a brother, Elmer William B—-; a
sister-in-law Pauline B—-; and his only Sister,
Irene B—-, Babros.
John was a special man who made the world a better
place just by the life he lived.  He will be greatly
missed by all who loved him. 


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brandi
    Mar 25, 2008 @ 12:13:23

    Wow, that was very special and thoughtful.


  2. Laoch
    Mar 25, 2008 @ 19:29:18

    A fine eulogy.


  3. Lola
    Mar 25, 2008 @ 20:26:51

    Oh my…..that was very touching.  From the reading, it looks as though  John lived a full and wonderful life.   He was a great man–talented, interesting, kind and generous. 
    That was very lovely indeed.   Thank you for sharing. 


  4. Ms Noanie
    Mar 26, 2008 @ 07:57:11

    I\’ve sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing this.


  5. Brad
    Mar 28, 2008 @ 15:03:50

    My condolences on your Uncles passing.
    And about that snow you said you sent this way? It FINALLY got here TODAY! Yeah…. What the hell???? Are you going to send more for Summer too?
    Next time you send snow over here, can you please use UPS next day air? Or even second day would be ok.


  6. SAAM
    Mar 28, 2008 @ 22:28:16

    That is a really nice obit
    Sorry for your loss


  7. KatSoup
    Mar 30, 2008 @ 05:41:37

    One man touches so many lives.


  8. David
    Mar 30, 2008 @ 15:52:47

    A long and good life – some people are a pleasure to all who meet them.  And Arroyo Grande?  I spent the night there in a bunkhouse kind of place for a dollar when I hitched to CA and back in 1963.  You are lucky in SOME of your relatives, at least.  (But the others are so much fun to write about, aren\’t they?)  Sounds like you like this man – he was lucky, too. 


  9. CAROL
    Mar 30, 2008 @ 22:17:15

    Although I didn\’t even know him ..reading this makes his life seem so rich and special. He was loved by so many a true testimony of a great man. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.. BIG HUGS TO YOU!!  (((())))    : )


  10. Nooner™
    Mar 31, 2008 @ 08:09:49

    What a wonderful life! Amazing how fulfilling it must have been.
    Please accept my deepest condolences at the loss of your uncle!


  11. Litespreader
    Apr 02, 2008 @ 16:07:43

    My goodness!  That is awesome, Stephie.. you deserveno less.  Just don\’t make em like that any more, do they?My prayers to the family.. love,t


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