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Nearly 1,000 say farewell to Mantecas John Cambra
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Cambra brothers Chuck and Joe lead the procession of hot rods in their brother John’s 1927 Ford roadster. They are followed by his 1941 Willys, 1951 Plymouth and his 1931 Ford roadster pickup truck. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin
John Cambra was remembered by family and friends who filled St. Anthony’s  of Padna Catholic Church for his funeral mass Monday morning – many bringing their restored hotrods that he had a hand in rebuilding.

Cambra, 59, had touched many friends throughout his life through skills he demonstrated in everything from car restorations, to flying and boat racing.  There were nearly a thousand people attending the funeral with some 200 cars following the hearse in the procession to St. John’s Cemetery on Highway 120 at Carrolton Road.

John fought his illness with unending courage for more than eight years, his family said.  During the summer of 2006 he penned a note, a reflection, of his place in life.  That piece was included in a handout at the church to those in attendance.  It read:

“You know, it’s amazing, when something like this happens how much time we have to think about things in our life.

“Sometimes we rise and sometimes we fall.  Sometimes the toughest thing we have to do is face ourselves and that can be the toughest thing we ever have to do in our lifetime – so while we sit here and get mad about how life is treating us, I forgot how great my life has been for the last 56 years and that’s kinda my life in a nutshell!

“Isn’t it amazing how soon we forget, how good we really have it.                            …Love, John”

At St. Anthony’s, Fr. Dean McFall officiated while Fr. Peter Carota gave the blessing at St. John’s Cemetery.  A luncheon followed at the MRPS Hall.  Manteca Police SHARPS’ Sgt. Lois Page provided traffic control as the procession turned north onto North Main Street.  It continued to Louise Avenue where it turned eastward to Jack Tone Road and the cemetery location.