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Welcome to the memorial page for

John Walter Booth

March 13, 1923 ~ March 20, 2017 (age 94)

John Booth passed away suddenly on Monday, March 20.  His gentle, kind spirit and charming personality won over the hearts of many during the course of his 94 years.

John was born in Aldershot, Hampshire, England and was raised in the family cottage in Crookham, Hampshire.

At the age of eighteen he enlisted with the Royal Signals in the British Army, and was deployed to North Africa, Italy and Sicily during the Second World War.  In 1943, initially posted to Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England, he met and married Freda Challis, his first wife and a professional classical pianist. After the war, in 1946 he returned to his family in Huddersfield.  Post-war Britain was slowly rebuilding, and the family was faced with a difficult choice: to remain or depart in search of a better life.  In October of 1953 John traveled to Sept Isles, Quebec, to work for the Iron Ore Company of Canada, which had just recently formed and was looking for technically skilled workers.  After a year, the rest of the family joined him in Canada, and lived in Sept Isles for eight more years.

In 1962, in the third chapter of John’s life, the family left Canada and eventually settled in Lafayette, California. In 1970, John and Freda opened the Handlebar Cycle and Toy store in Lafayette and operated this successful family business for many years. After he and Freda divorced, they maintained the business partnership for several more years.

In 1983 John married Joy Glenny, and they lived together in Fremont until her passing in 2014.  During his time in Fremont, John worked as a freelance technician repairing sensitive medical equipment for hospitals in the Bay Area.  John also delivered meals on wheels for seniors and others suffering from mobility issues throughout the Bay Area.

John is survived by his loving daughters, Adrienne and Jennifer, his dear autistic son Jonathan, his grandsons Robert and André, his step children Celia, Terry, and Colleen, and step-grandchildren Jennifer, Dave, Danny, Jamie and Kiernan.  His intelligence, charming wit, generous spirit, kindness and wisdom will be keenly missed.

Sailing was one of John Booth’s favorite pastimes.  He became a masterful sailor, reveling in the challenge of sailing the high winds and waves found in San Francisco Bay.

A memorial will be held in the summer to scatter his ashes at sea.  The family has asked that instead of flowers, any contribution can be made to AutismSpeaks.org in his and Jonathan Booth’s name.


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