John James Durica passed away on November 23, 2019 at the age of 92. He was born on Dec 5th 1926 the 7th of 12 children born to George and Annie in Madera, Pa. Growing up in the small coal mining town of Madera, John and his siblings took on the task of working the family farm and soon working in the coal mines. Eager to follow in the footsteps of his older brothers, John joined the army as a machinist and cook. After the war John was stationed in Morro Bay where he met his wife Charol (Dixon) Durica. They were married on January 12 1948 and celebrated 71 years of marriage together raising 4 children.
Living in Costa Mesa, CA for the last 64 years John was a hard working, self employed handyman with most of his clients in the Newport Beach area. John was the ultimate handyman and could fix or build just about anything. It was hard to keep him off the roof or out from under a sink. Even to his last days he was talking about the things he wanted to fix on the house. His Costa Mesa home was known as “the farm” as there was a vegetable garden, fruit trees and his chickens in the back. He could be found most days tending to his garden. He passed his love for having fresh vegetables, fruits and eggs from his own yard to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
John loved to travel and would spend most summer months driving his van with the kids in the back, pulling a trailer to see family in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Idaho and Montana. He spent many winters traveling to Arizona rock hunting with his wife, her sister and husband and new friends they met along the way. They also took a few trips to Hawaii and he even worked in a small town for one of his clients on the Big Island.
The biggest joy for John was his family. Known as “Poppy”, he loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren immensely and always had a big smile on his face when he would see them. He even took to face-timing with some of the great-grandchildren which he thought was fascinating that he could talk to them and he could hear them in real time.
John is survived by his wife Charol, daughters Kathy (Alan) and Tamara, sons Gary (Susan) and Jon (Denise). 7 grandchildren and their spouses, 9 great-grandchildren, his brother Tom and 2 sisters Peg and Ann.
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