John Davey Parkinson passed away in Turlock on January 20 at the age of 92. John was born in Alameda, California to Richard William Parkinson and Bertha Josephine Davey Parkinson. He was predeceased by his parents and three older brothers, William, Arnold and Earl. John grew up in Alameda, graduating from Alameda High School in 1944. He served in the Army from 1944 to 1946, joining his three brothers who were already overseas. John was stationed in the Philippines until the war ended, then served in Korea, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was proud to have served his country but always described himself as “a lover, not a fighter.”
Returning to the Bay Area after the war, John graduated from St. Mary’s College with a degree in liberal arts and began a long career with Wells Fargo Bank in 1951. It was on the teller line at the American Trust Company in Alameda that he met and fell in love with Harriet Jane Henry (Hatti). The pair were married in 1953 and celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in 2018. John is survived by his loving wife Hatti, sons Pete (Cecilia) and Richard, daughters Nancy (Stephen Verschelden) and Joni (Phil Rojas), nine grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.
John was an athlete and avid sports fan his entire life, a true Forty-Niner Faithful. But his biggest love in sports was reserved for Stanford University, especially their football program. He started going to Stanford games in the 1930s and 40s and remained a fan right up through the Cardinal’s victory in the Sun Bowl earlier this year. He was a Stanford Football season ticket holder for many years and kindled a love for the program among his children and grandchildren, many of whom have become avid fans of the Cardinals.
The family moved to Turlock 1964 when John took over as manager of the brand-new Wells Fargo Bank branch, then located at the corner of East Main and Highway 99 (now Golden State Boulevard). In 1986, He retired as a bank Vice-president in 1986, a position that had him traveling up and down the Valley overseeing banking operations and personnel for Wells Fargo’s South Valley division. John was a proud member of Sons in Retirement, Turlock Branch #143, for over 25 years and became an Honorary Life member in 2009. He was also a SIR Board Member, long-time Bulletin Editor and Sunshine Chairman. The SIRs all enjoyed John’s quick wit and sense of humor.
In everything he did—work, leisure, family, service—John epitomized warmth and integrity. He always said that three things were essential in life: faith in God, love of music and a sense of humor. He always seemed to have a song in his heart and loved to sing whenever he had an audience. John was a masterful storyteller with an amazing memory for the details of his youth and time in the Army. He was fond of corny jokes and the occasional ribald story. While he was a first class wise-guy—a trait that he passed along to his children—he never said an unkind thing to a soul. More than anything, John was a caring man with a generous loving spirit who was loved by many. Everyone who knew him is richer for that experience and the world was a brighter place with him in it.
At John’s request, no formal funeral service will take place. A Celebration of Life to honor John will be held for family and friends, to be announced in the near future