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John William De Jong
February 24, 1926-May 13, 2020
De Jong obit pic
John grew up on a dairy farm, so it was only natural that he wanted to continue the family tradition of being a farmer.
Born in Hanford, CA, eighth child of a family of eight sons and one daughter. He attended elementary and high school in the small town of Ripon, where the family moved. There he was active in FFA and sports. He graduated Ripon Union High School in 1943.
    In 1957, after 14 years in the dairy business, John sold his 125 dairy herd and at age 31, with wife and children, went back to school. He attended Modesto Jr. College and later Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, earning his BS, MA and Ag Teaching Credential.  John moved the family to Petaluma on a one year teaching assignment, and ended up staying. He worked in the Ag Department at Petaluma High School for 29 years, working alongside Bill King and Ron Head.  Guiding thousands of young people into agriculture-related careers, he was awarded CA Teacher of Excellence, National FFA Association’s Honorary American Farmer Degree, and inducted into the CA Ag Teachers Association’s Agriculture Hall of Fame.
   John is predeceased by his beloved wife, Connie, married in 1946, and his grandson, Christopher. He is survived by his four children, Dave (Kathi), Deedee, Duane (Frances), Don (Ann), grand- children, Tracy Thomas McGovert, Eric Wheat, Darren Wheat, Shannon DeJong, Morgan DeJong, Dylan DeJong, Cotter DeJong,  and two great-grandchildren, Ireland and Zachariah.
   The family thanks Dr. Aye, Dr. Marsland, Dr. Ryan, and their staff, Hospice Petaluma, and John’s caretaker of four years, Maraia Druava, for the care shown to him.
   The final resting place will be Ripon Cemetery, Ripon, CA.  A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be made to: John DeJong Award Scholarship Fund ℅ PHS: Ag Dept, 201 Fair Street, Petaluma, CA 94952, or Ripon Christian Foundation, 435 Maple Ave., Ripon, CA 95366.


Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin

Wednesday, May  20, 2020