Posted by: resparish | August 2, 2013

John Maka, 1919 – 2013

JohnMakaJohn Maka died on Tuesday, July 23, 2013. He was 94 years old.

John was born in a farm house in Robinson Township, Grand Haven, Michigan, the 7th of 9 children of Joseph and Anna Maka; his parents had emigrated from Poland in 1908. He learned responsibility early in life, as each child had chores suited to his or her age. John excelled in school and graduated from Coopersville High School in 1937. Having chosen an electrical engineering course of study, he enrolled at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, and completed two years of study before WWII interrupted his private life. John enlisted in the Army Aircorps, which later became the U. S. Air Force. In 1942, John married Eleanor Allen at Scott Air Force Base in Saint Louis. He trained as a radio operator and then attended radar related courses at MIT and Harvard when radar was a top secret technology. As a Squadron Electronics Officer, John taught radar to pilots, engineers and bombardiers at several Air Force bases. He had achieved the rank of captain before the end of the war. After his discharge, he moved his young family from Boca Raton, Florida to his hometown of Grand Haven where they settled into private life. Four years later he returned to the USAF and served in Alaska during the Korean War.

John worked for the United States Air Force as a Quality Control Specialist for 37 years. In 1961 he moved the family, which had grown to seven children, from Michigan to Sunnyvale, California. The family was complete when Monica was born in 1962. He retired from civil service at the age of 59 and worked for 10 years in private business as an income tax specialist.

John was very active in retirement. He was very involved in the American Legion for over 30 years, serving in every official capacity. He volunteered for many activities and always was available to help others with any sort of project. He helped with children’s Christmas parties, fundraisers, scholarships and bingo for the American legion, free tax services for veterans and seniors and donated his time at his Church. John had a great sense of humor and loved to make people happy with his witty stories, songs and comments. His magnetic personality drew people together; he enjoyed socializing and travelling with his many friends.

John was an accomplished outdoorsman and could keep up with and surpass people much younger than himself. Throughout his life he enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing horseshoes, baseball and golf.

After 51 years of marriage, Eleanor passed away in 1993. John will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him including his children: John, Jeanne, Gerald, Maureen, Christine, Annette, Ellen, and Monica; their spouses; 12 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

John’s Funeral Mass will take place on Tuesday, August 6th at 10:00 am, here at the Church of the Resurrection. He will be buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos.

Please keep John and his family in your prayers.