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John Valverde - GM1 DD350

Pearl Harbor and Typhoon Cobra Survivor

Passed 23 Jan 2012



John Valverde


John Valverde, (Pearl Harbor Survivor) 93 of Petaluma, CA passed away peacefully on January 23, 2012 at his home surrounded by his loving daughter, son in law and granddaughter. Born August 2, 1919 in San Francisco. He enlisted in the Marine Reserves in 1938 and received an early discharge in 1940 in order to enlist in the Navy, where he became a Gunner's Mate 1st Class on the USS Hull, a destroyer with the Division One Pacific Fleet. At the time of the Pearl Harbor attack his ship was alongside the USS Dobbin undergoing tender overhaul. Somehow the crew was able to navigate the ship out of the harbor under major attack avoiding damage to the ship and crew. In December of 1944 a Pacific Typhoon hit the USS Hull unexpectedly eventually causing his beloved ship to capsize and sink. Its crew was tossed into the ocean. John and several ship mates spent 72 hours in a life boat before being rescued. Upon discharge from the Navy, in 1946 he married his loving wife Frances of 57 years, in Bremerton, Washington. They moved to San Francisco, where John worked as a warehouse man for several years, later changing careers owning and operating various service stations in the bay area. They eventually moved to Ukiah, where they owned and operated a Union 76 service station where he and Frances worked side by side for many years. Upon retirement in 1987 they moved to Petaluma to be closer to their children. John's interest were reading his bible daily, fishing, and in his early years riding his beloved Harley Davidson. He was preceded in death by his wife Frances in 2003, a brother and two sisters. He is survived by his daughters Francine (Bob) Hatfield, and Tracy (Jason) Escher both of Petaluma. He also leaves behind grandchildren Tina (Keith) Botai of Idaho, Lisa Chavez of Petaluma, Nicole (Dax) Magorga of North Carolina, Sean Escher and Melissa Escher of Petaluma, Grandchildren Brennen Maldonado of Petaluma, and Shelby Azevedo of Idaho. Dearest friend Marina Martinez and caregiver Anna Rodriguez. He was well liked by everyone he met, his recollection of the events of Pearl Harbor was always the topic of many conversations among friends and strangers alike. At his request there will be no services. Donations may be made to a charity of your choice . Arrangements in the care of ADOBE CREEK FUNERAL HOME, 331 Lakeville St., Petaluma, CA 94952. Online condolences 707-789-9000 -