basque heritage worldwide

In memory of

Jean Cordova

Jean Cordova
Jean Cordova (December 16, 1941 - January 5, 2022)

01/05/2022 - San Francisco, California, USA

[Services in memory on Jean will be on Saturday, February 5th at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church 1555 39th Avenue, SF. Family Visitation: 10:30 am. Funeral Mass: 11:00 am (masks are required). It will be live streamed through this link]

Jean (Xan) Cordova passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 5th, surrounded by his family, after a year long battle with Lung Cancer. He leaves behind his loving wife of fifty three years, Marlene, daughters Danielle (Alain) and Nicole, and his adoring grandchildren Eric and Elisa. Jean was preceded in death by his parents, Marcelino Cordoba and Paola Huarte, brothers Manuel and Thomas, and sister Marie Jeanne. He leaves a brother Francois (Martha) and nephews Michel, Marcel (Marie-France) and grand nieces Paola and Laura.

Jean was born in St. Etienne de Baigorri, France. He immigrated to the United States as a sheepherder, then moved to San Francisco, and became a well respected landscape gardener. Jean was never afraid of a hard day's work, and balanced his strong work ethic, with a love for his friends and family.

Jean acclimated to the American ways. He loved football, baseball, bowling, golf, and fishing. Jean's nature was to be outdoors which is why he loved fishing in the Truckee River. If you asked him, the best fishing was on the other side of the largest boulder, and "No Trespassing" signs were merely suggestions.

As a young man, Jean was a pilota (handball) player. He played competitively throughout the United States, Mexico, and France. Though a fierce competitor and sportsman on the court, it is his friendship off the court for which he will be mostly remembered. Even in his last days, watching pilota games from Spain and France on his computer brought him a great deal of joy and comfort.

Jean was a proud founding member of the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center. It was his home away from home where he gathered with his friends on Sundays to watch pilota, enjoy lunch, and to play Mus (Basque card game). He was also a proud member of The San Francisco Basque Club, and joined many other Basque clubs in order to participate in their Mus tournaments. He joined, and remained an active member of The French Athletic Club, The Oddfellows, La Ligue Henri IV, Les Faneurs, and Bay Area Diners. He enjoyed yearly trips and golf tournaments organized by these various clubs, but especially loved their banquets and friendly gatherings where he could socialize and dance.

Jean was a humble yet very proud man. Though he was multilingual, speaking four languages (Basque, French, English, and Spanish) and highly intelligent, he was a man of few words. However, he freely interjected with one liners which were appreciated by everyone who knew him. His smile, twinkle in his eye, laughter, friendship, and love will forever be cherished and missed by all.

Family and friends are welcome to attend the services which will be held on: Saturday, February 5th at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church 1555 39th Avenue, SF. Family Visitation: 10:30 am. Funeral Mass11:00 am (masks are required). It will be live streamed through this link.  At Jean's request, he was cremated and will have a private burial in Tracy, California.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jean's memory to the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center (SFBCC). The family has requested that these donations be earmarked for SFBCC Pilota in order to foster and preserve the love of the sport. Checks can be made payable to the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center, and sent to SF Basque Cultural Center Anita Arduain, 599 Railroad Ave, SSF, Ca., 94080. Please include "Jean Cordova: BCC Pilota" in the memo line.

A special thanks to the San Francisco Kaiser medical team and the Kaiser Hospice staff who helped throughout Jean's illness. Your dedication to him will always be remembered by his family.

(published by San Francisco Chronicle, from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 2022)

Goian Bego (GB) - May Rest in Peace


  • Jean Cordova

    He was a kind man with a great smile. Always took the time to say hello and a hug. Yes he did love his pilota and enjoyed playing. He will be missed. We are saddened for his beautiful family, but know he is always with you and looking down on all of you. God bless you all

    JP&Annie Guecamburu, 01/25/2022 23:59

  • RIP

    RIP Jean.

    Mark Etcheverry (Auberry, CA), 01/25/2022 20:36

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