John Alvin Bristow of San Jose, CA passed into eternal life on October 22. He was a lifelong Christian and followed his Savior’s teachings.
John’s young childhood began in the foothills of Mt. Diablo on Marsh Creek Road. He attended a one room school house with twelve other children. When the old pioneer school closed in 1942, all the students were bussed twelve miles down the mountain to Brentwood Elementary School.
John graduated from Liberty Union High School in Brentwood, CA in 1950. Before enrolling in college, he was drafted into the army as the Korean War broke out. After basic training at Fort Ord, Monterey, CA and the Adjutant General’s School in Indiana, he spent two years at the Presidio S.F. at 6th Army Headquarters. On June 7, 1953 he married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Wanda Wallin. They were married for 64 years and were blessed with three children, Linda, Lisa, and Johnny. His wife Wanda, his children, and grandchildren were the most important part of his life.
John attended both UC Berkeley (Cal) and San Francisco State University (SFSU) and received a B.A. and M.A. plus teaching and administrative credentials in elementary and secondary education. He taught 5th grade for seven years in California public schools and served as a County Education Consultant for two years.
He also served as the Superintendent of the Knightsen School District in East Contra Costa County. The major part of his career was spent in Alameda County where he served from 1969-1990 in Pleasanton as principal of four elementary schools: Valley View, Vintage Hills, Alisal, and Fairlands. While in Pleasanton he received the PTA Oakleaf Honor Award and was a charter member of Phi Beta Kappa Educational Society. Upon retirement in 1990, he was presented the Outstanding Administrator of the Year Award by ACSA, the Amador Valley Chapter of the Association of California School Administrators. He was a lifelong member of the American Legion.
John loved the outdoors and when the children were young he took them camping from the mountains to the coast. He especially enjoyed spending time at the family cabin in the Sierras, family cruises, and trips to Hawaii. His hobbies were camping, hiking, visiting historical sites and reading. His quest for knowledge never ended.
John is survived by his wife Wanda Wallin Bristow, daughters Linda Tringali (Fil) and Lisa Bristow, son John Bristow (Liz), grandchildren Francesca Tringali Priest (Stephen), Madison Miller, Evangeline Bristow, and Marla Rogers (Keithan) and many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents Frank and Grace Bristow and siblings: Mae Helms (Ernest), Fred Bristow (Billie), Tom Bristow, Lois Bristow, Margaret Burland (Bill), Joseph Bristow (Betty), Bill Bristow (Patricia) and niece Judy Arata (Mike), nephew Keith Bristow, great-nephew Mark Bristow and great-niece Christina Turner.
John was interred in a private family ceremony in the Pleasanton Pioneer Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, November 19 at 11:00 a.m. at the Villages Golf and Country Club, 2800 Villages Fairway Drive, San Jose, CA 95135. Luncheon to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Villages Community Chapel Mission Fund, 2500 Villages Parkway Dr., Suite E, San Jose, CA 95135. Donations may also be made in John’s memory to the American Cancer Society.
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Wednesday, November 1, 2017