John Gonzalez, 54, was killed in a tragic accident on December 18th, 2017, while driving his work truck in Seattle Washington. He was working his last few days in Seattle before transferring to Helena, Montana where he was looking forward to spending time outdoors doing the things he loved.
John was born on April 26, 1963 in Stockton California. He grew up in Tracy where he thrived as wonderful son, brother, cousin, friend and athlete to a large family and great group of friends. He loved being outdoors where he grew up on the family’s Larch Road ranch riding his dirt bike, bull riding, camping, hunting & fishing with his family & many cousins. He is survived by his son Jon Carter Gonzalez (Rochester, Washington), niece Alina Cardoza (Tracy, CA) and many extended family members who miss him dearly. He was preceded in death by his mother, Caroline Gonzalez, father Charles Gonzalez and Sister Debbie Gonzalez.
John was very active as a young boy involved in Lammersville 4-H group & Pop Warner football. He attended North Elementary School from 1968 to 1975, Senior Elementary School from 1975 to 1977, and Tracy High School as a freshman in 1977, excelling in football, wrestling and track. John played on the varsity football team during his sophomore, junior and senior years. He was a starting linebacker and was awarded All-League selection for all three years. He was also an All-Northern California Linebacker in his junior and senior seasons. He was on the 1980 High School All-American team as a linebacker. He played in the 1981 Lions All-Star Football Game and was selected to be on the 40th year all-time best Lions All-Star Football Team. John was an outstanding heavyweight wrestler during his high school years where he was a California state semi-finalist in 1979/1980 and the California State heavyweight champion in 1981. In 2014, he was inducted into the Tracy Sports Hall of Fall of Fame.
Upon graduation in 1981 he received a football scholarship to Oregon State University where he went on to play as a three year starter as a defensive tackle. His college highlight was in 1983 when OSU played at Stanford and he intercepted a pass and scored a touchdown giving the Beavers their first win in several years. He was carried out of Parker Stadium on the shoulders of his teammates and was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week. He went on to play professional football for the Toronto Argonauts and the Saskatchewan Roughriders where he met his future wife, Jacquie Galan. They moved to Florida in 1991 where they resided for 6 years and he began his nearly 24 year career with Nabisco Corp.
There is where the highlight of his life began, the birth of his son Jon Carter. He also found the love of deep sea fishing, riding free on his jet ski in the ocean and building his culinary skills. John moved to the Seattle Washington area in 1997 where he continued to work for Nabisco and earned his physical therapy certificate. He loved raising his son and was attentive to his education and athletic activities. His son was his life, his most gifted achievement and the most proud honor he gladly held high. To know John, he was a loyal friend, giving individual, loved to make others laugh, avid hunter and fisherman, and loved to cook, barbeque and create his own recipes. He shared these activities in recent years with his girlfriend Jennifer.
A memorial service will be held at St. Bernard’s church on January 12th at 11:00am in Tracy CA. A memorial will be held in Seattle on February 3rd, 2:00 p.m. at the Des Moines Beach Park event venter on the Puget Sound. In lieu of flowers you may make contributions to the Tracy Latin Athletic Club on behalf of the John Gonzalez Scholarship Fund.
If you did not have the opportunity to meet and know John, you surely missed out on knowing this wonderful gentle soul.