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March 24, 2023

John Jack Vallerga

John Jack Vallerga passed on March 18, 2022, age 91. Proceeded in death by parents, Dominic & Margaret Vallerga; first wife, Elinor Hill; second wife, Gloria Walker. Survived by sons, Matthew (Barbara) Vallerga, Mark (Jeanette) Vallerga, and brother Daniel ( Nita) Vallerga. Jack will be missed by many relatives in the Vallerga, Hill, and Walker families as well as his Rotary, Montgomery High, and fly fishing friends throughout California. 

Jack was born in Eureka and lived in Samoa, CA as a child. Here, Jack acquired his love of the outdoors, becoming an avid fan of fishing, hunting, hiking, clamming, and crabbing. Jack also loved athletics, participating in sports in high school. He attended CAL Berkeley and played football for their team. Jack graduated from CAL with a degree in physical education. 

Jack and first wife Elinor were classmates growing up in Samoa. They dated while Jack was home from college, working a summer at a Samoa mill. Married Oct. 24, 1953, they enjoyed 37 years of marriage. Jack and Elinor raised their two boys in Santa Rosa, CA where Jack was a teacher, swim coach, and counselor at Montgomery High. They passed on a love of the outdoors to their sons with family camping, fishing, backpacking, and skiing trips. Large Christmas gatherings in Eureka were treasured by Jack and his family. Jack also enjoyed many celebrations at the Hill family residence in Berkeley. Go Bears! 

In 1951, Jack was drafted into the US Marine Corp. He was sent for training to Camp Pendleton and then shipped overseas to fight in the Korean War. Stationed near the front lines, Jack carried fellow soldiers to safety under heavy mortar attacks. Jack served his country well and died an honorable veteran . After the war, Jack finished college and graduated from CAL Berkeley. 

In the mid 80s, Jack became a member of the Santa Rosa East Rotary. Rotary service became a passion for Jack. He served as District Governor from 1989-1990. Jack worked hard to establish youth scholarships in both his and Elinor¹s names. Jack also proudly served as a member of the Healdsburg Sunrise Rotary whose members faithfully watched over Jack in his later years at Healdsburg Senior Living. 

Jack married second wife Gloria Walker in 1995. The couple shared a love of travel, entertaining & their cat, Annie. Trips to Italy were fond memories for the couple. They had 12 enjoyable years hosting family and friends in their Healdsburg home. Jack always liked to garden and it showed in the couple¹s backyard of flowers and fresh vegetables. 

The family wishes to thank staff at Kaiser Permanente, Las Palmas, Sebastopol and Santa Rosa Hospice for their kindness and superior care during Jack¹s last days. 

Family and friends are invited to a 10 AM memorial mass at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Healdsburg, CA on May 7, 2022. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you honor Jack on his GoFundMe Memorial page tinyurl.com/johnjackmemorial


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