John Pierre Waldum of Manteca, CA, passed away on April 30th at the age of 69 years in Ferndale, CA. John was born in St. Paul, MN and grew up in San Carlos, CA where he attended Junipero Serra High School and San Mateo Community College. He moved to Manteca in 1999.
John proudly served his country as a paratrooper in Vietnam, Laos, and Burma in the early 1960's and retired from Pacific Bell in 1997 with a career spanning 32 years as the Operations Manager for San Francisco and later in Personnel Protection and Emergency Management.
His passion in life was fly fishing and he loved the Delta, going out in his boat several times a month to take it all in and see his friends. John was an expert fisherman and tied his own flies. He would tease that he wanted to open a fly fishing shop and never let anyone in. He traveled the world to fly fish, visiting exotic places like the Amazon, Christmas Island, Canada, and Mexico. For 40+ years John arranged an annual houseboat trip to Lake Shasta with his closest friends. John loved San Francisco and Paris and took many wonderful vacations around the world with his wife Polly during their 20 years together.
John had a wonderful sense of humor and made friends very quickly. He talked to everyone and would lay his hand on your shoulder when speaking to you. He always had a story to tell and captivated his audience with his anecdotes and humor. Always a gentleman, John was extremely intelligent, kind, and lived life with integrity, put other people ahead of himself and loved to see people succeed. He was a history buff and knew more about WWII than most. He loved to read, had an extensive library, and loved to share his books.
John volunteered for the Manteca Fire Department SAFE organization and the Manteca Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and had many friends at Manteca Family Bowl.
John leaves his loving wife Polly, son John Lyall Waldum and son-in-law David McIntyre of Salt Lake City, sister Shirley Waldum and sister-in-law Evelyn Marchini of Foster City, niece Patricia Rovere and daughters Tiffany and Sabrina of Hollister, niece Dena Reyes, husband Tony, and daughters and son Isabella and Scala Reyes, and Michael Reyes of Pacifica, nephew Dan Brinzo of San Mateo, stepson Dane McKinley of San Francisco, stepdaughter Lacey McKinley of Santa Rosa, his best friend/brother Bob Bishop of San Carlos, many many friends, and his bulldog Stella and pug Fern, all of whom miss him dearly. John was preceded in passing by his parents Lyall and Mary Waldum, and sister Patricia Rovere.
John's wishes were to be cremated and his ashes spread over the ocean. There are no services planned at this time, however a memorial service is expected within the next few months. Contributions in John's name may be submitted to the Delta Fly Fishers Association at P.O. Box 1652, Lodi, California 95241-1652.
Inquiries may be addressed to Polly Waldum at 209-823-2684 or Shirley Waldum 650-255-5292
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Saturday, May 5, 2012