03/21/2020 - Meridian, ID, USA
John Ramon Navarro (1922-2020) passed away last Saturday March 21st in Meridian, Idaho. His wife of 60 years, Gloria (Achurra) Navarro passed away last January 20th.
Obituary published in Idaho Statesman, Legacy.com on March 27, 2020:
John Ramon Navarro, 97, passed away peacefully with his family at his side, March 21, 2020 at Life Care Center of Treasure Valley.
John was born April 15th, 1922 in Jordan Valley, Oregon to Manuel and Mariana (Iturrieta) Navarro. At the age of 5 John and his family moved to Barber, Idaho where his father worked at the sawmill. After 5 years the family relocated to Nampa where John attended Lake View School. After the family moved to Meridian in 1936, John graduated from Meridian High, class of 1940.
John was a dedicated son and worked tirelessly on the family's 130-acre farm. At the age of 18 John went to enlist in the Army and was turned away due to the necessity of agricultural workers producing for the country. After multiple trips to enlist, the recruiter told him if he came in again he would be given civilian court martial. John had a hard time accepting the fact that his friends and brother, Dick, could serve their country and he was forced to stay home.
One benefit of working on the farm was John was able to save up for a 1948 Studebaker that was his pride and joy. He had many memories of that car, and being the storyteller that he was he enjoyed sharing them. His favorite stories included driving the Studebaker on his honeymoon to California and the time he took his childhood friends, the three Dobaran Brothers, to a basketball game and the underpowered engine could barely haul them up the hill. John had a great sense of humor and would sometimes embellish these stories to entertain those around him.
In 1948 John was attending a Basque Dance where a gentleman insisted John dance with his daughter. John agreed and was introduced to a beautiful girl named Gloria. They began dating and quickly fell in love. John and Gloria were married on November 11th, 1950 at Saint Mary's Catholic Church. After they married they had three children, Rick, Teresa, and Debbie. Together they shared a passion for the Basque community, which remained prevalent through their almost 70 years of marriage.
John had a pride for his Basque heritage and was a charter member of Euzkaldunak. He could often be found down on the Basque Block helping till the soil in preparation for the Basque Center to be built. His blood, sweat, and tears went into anything that was important to him.
In the 1950's John owned and operated the Phillips 66 service station on Main Street in Meridian. He worked long and hard hours; often times making personal sacrifices to ensure Gloria and the kids were taken care of. He dedicated 32 years of his life to the service station. In lieu of serving his country John looked for ways to serve his community. He volunteered helping to build the Meridian Speedway and was awarded a lifetime membership to the Meridian Athletic Association. He was the Meridian Police Commissioner for over 10 years and served 16 years on Meridian City Council.
In 1970 John and Gloria decided to move their family to Pine Street, which at the time was not within city limits. This meant John would no longer be eligible to serve on the city council. John, always wanting to follow the rules and do what is right, turned in his resignation letter. Instead of accepting his resignation the council annexed his new property into the city limits so he could continue to serve. Those who knew John understood that his dedication and work ethic were needed to better the community.
In the early years of their marriage John and Gloria began building their family cabin in Cascade, Idaho. He loved the cool summer nights and the warmth of the stone fireplace. He built countless memories there with his kids, grand kids, great grand kids, and grand dogs. The cabin remained a prevalent part of his life until the very end. From sitting and looking at the lake to trolling for perch, John felt fulfilled seeing many generations spend time at the home away from home he and Gloria created.
John never wanted to be inactive or unproductive, he always appreciated having work to do. After his retirement he was asked to help for a month at a local school as a custodian. By the end of that month John had a new job as the head custodian at Lake Hazel Elementary. This was a testament to his work ethic and dedication and ended up being his favorite job of his career. For ten years John enjoyed working with the teachers and around the kids who lovingly called him Grandpa.
Throughout his life John was active in the Catholic community. He was a member of St. Francis Cabrini, Holy Spirit and Holy Apostles Catholic Churches. John was an active member of the Holy Name Mens' Society where he helped plan the building fund, maintained the church facility, and provided outreach to those who were housebound.
To John there was nothing more important than family. The pride that he felt for those dear to him was evident in his every action. Whether you had known John for 50 years or spent 5 minutes with him, his presence left a lasting impression. Those who were lucky enough to have him touch their lives understand he was a man above the rest.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Manuel and Mariana Navarro; wife, Gloria Navarro; brother, Dick Navarro; sisters: Divina and Marie Teresa, and grandson, Jake Taylor.
He is survived by his children: Rick Navarro (Bobbi), Teresa Taylor (Roger), Debbie Smith (Jim); grandchildren: Nick Smith, (Sarah), Patxi and Henry, Tyler Smith, Jen Waldher (Kelly), Ben, Jocelyn, and Landon, Derik Standley (Anika), Carson, and many other nieces and nephews.
Private family services will be held. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Basque Foundation Inc, or Basque Museum.
Private services were held for John. Remembrances may be left for the family on John's webpage at www.AccentFuneral.com. Services are under the care of Accent Funeral Home and Cremation, Meridian.