Saturday, July 18, 2009


IVANO SAYS: This Remembrance for John was first published in the
Santa Cruz Sentinel:

John Colombini

A recitation of the Holy Rosary and a Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Sunday and Monday in Santa Cruz, for John Colombini, who passed away peacefully at his Santa Cruz home on July 15, with his loving family at his bedside. Born in Capannori Lucca, Italy, he was 89 years old. Mr. Colombini moved to the United States in 1936 and has been a resident of Santa Cruz County for the past 55 years. He served his country during WW II as a paratrooper with the US Army Air Corps, and saw action in the Pacific Theatre where he made numerous parachute jumps over Japan.
A well known and respected farmer on the north coast of Santa Cruz County, his career in agriculture where he farmed artichokes and Brussels sprouts spanned over 50 years. He first farmed in Pacifica and later brought his family to live on Wilder Ranch. John was a member of the Santa Cruz and San Mateo Farm Bureaus.
Mr. Colombini made many life long friends in the various organizations to which he belonged, including the Family of St. Joseph, The Sons of Italy, Santa Cruz Elks Lodge, The Italian Catholic Federation, Marconi Club, and Lucchesi nel Mondo. He was generous, kind and loving toward everyone he met. He had a contagious smile, sparkling blue eyes, and a strong handshake.
He was a long time parishioner of Holy Cross Catholic Church.
He is survived by his daughters and sons in-law, Diana and Giovanni Colombini, Sandi and Claudio Locatelli, his son Albert Colombini, his five beloved grandchildren, Freddy Colombini of Italy, Cristina, Nicolas, and Emilia Locatelli and Erik Colombini all of Santa Cruz. He also leaves his younger brother, Jimmy Colombini of Santa Cruz and several nieces, nephews, cousins, and loving friends. The Colombini Family would especially like to thank and recognize his caregivers: Ana Ramos, Luis Salazar, Jorge Acosta, and the wonderful staff of Heartland Hospice, whose kindness we will be forever grateful.
Mr. Colombini was preceded in death by his loving wife of 45 years, Olga Colombini, his parents, Ottavio and Emilia Colombini and his older brother, Bart Colombini.
Friends may pay their respects at Benito and Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel on Sunday, July 19, from 12 noon until 5 p.m. The recitation of the rosary will begin at 7 p.m. at Holy Cross Church 126 High Street in Santa Cruz on Sunday evening, July 19, 2009. The mass will be celebrated at the church on Monday morning July 20, 2009 beginning at 11:00 a.m. He will be laid to rest at Holy Cross Mausoleum 2271 7th Ave. in Santa Cruz beside his beloved wife Olga, immediately following the mass. Any kind acts of charity may be made in his memory to Sons of Italy Lodge 1992/ Scholarship: 108 Ridgeview Court, Santa Cruz 95060.
IVANO SAYS (CONT'D): John and his brother Bart were well known 'ranceri' . The word rancere or ranceri (pl) was (is) reserved for the Italians who farmed "su per la costa". When asked what our occupation up the coast was, my father Bronco and/or my mother Valentina would answer "Siamo ranceri". (We are ranchers.) I first became aware of the Colombini brothers when they first moved to the Wilder Ranch (now a State Park). Later, when I was Exalted Ruler of the Santa Cruz Elks, I would see them often at the Lodge. Now they have both crossed "Il Ultimo Ponte" to join other 'Ranceri" who have gone before them.
Addio, John and Bart.


Jerry M. SCHS '55 said...

Thanks for the info. (The Columbini)had the ranch next door (to the Mungai Bros. Ranch) that once was owned by Marvin's aunt and uncle, as I recall. They were super hard workers. Olga would work all day in the barn cleaning sprouts and then cook a grand dinner for many folks, including my mom. John always stopped by to check in on Uncle Fred Mungai after Evelyn died.


Ah yes, Jerry M. is right; that was the Gordola Ranch, I'm sure; my uncle Tripoli (Giuseppe) and Cousin Freddie Del Chiaro were partners there, and of course, my Aunt Pia, who recently passed away at 100, was there for many years too, cleaning sprouts and cooking, etc. That was a way of life, as you well know.


IVANO said...

I received a newspaper clipping from the San Francisco John Columbini's obit. Reno sent it to me with a note that read:

Found this familiar name in the paper today. Boy he is one of the old timers for sure. Reno Cantarutti"

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the Seimering post. I wanted to remember John Colombini as well - he and his brother Bart were old friends, and John showed me how to grab a nettle and not get hurt. May he rest in peace.

Hank Bradley