Obituary of John Ernest Younker
John Ernest Younker was born November 5, 1933 in Protection, Kansas and passed peacefully on April 21, 2023 at home in Salinas surrounded by his wife, step-daughter and a friend of the family. John grew up in Watsonville and attended Watsonville High School before enlisting in the US Navy. He served in the Navy out of San Francisco, California, on troop transport, USS General Mann, and travelled the world during the Korean Conflict working in the engine room of the ship. Before the Navy, he met his future wife, Carol, on a blind date set up by friends when she was a student at Salinas High School.
One of his happiest memories from childhood was working at a local golf course in Watsonville. As an adult, his hobbies included creating stained glass artwork, reading and cars. He loved spending time with family, friends, acquaintances and his Chihuahua dogs Bear and Mini. His heart was in playing golf and visiting the local VFW hall for a meal, coffee or cocktail with friends and his sister Phyllis. As an avid reader in the days before Google, he encouraged his children to use the encyclopedia to look up information when they didn’t know something.
John and his first wife, Carol married in Salinas in 1953. His oldest children Susan, John and Cindy were born at Salinas Memorial Hospital. He worked at the PG&E plant in Moss Landing, then moved to Castroville and opened Castroville Auto Repair with friend Chuck Cooley. As a past-president of the Kiwanis Club, he was part of a group that facilitated putting up a sign over State Route 183 that says “Castroville the Artichoke Center of the World”. The sign was installed in the 1960s and was still there as of May 2021. John and Carol moved to San Jose around 1965 and he began working as a roofer, then becoming an auto claims adjuster for Farmer’s Insurance in San Jose until he transferred to the Salinas branch in the mid 1970s. John worked for Farmer’s until his retirement.
In 1975 John and Carol separated, he moved back to Salinas where he met, and later married, Alicia Carrillo Perez in 2012. He raised step-daughter, Rosa, from age 3 and son Jonathon Alexander Younker (AKA Alex) was born in Salinas in1991. John continued to support Alex through high school and enlistment in the Navy.
John is survived by wife, Alicia Younker; step-daughter, Rosa Perez Delancey (Kyle); son Jonathon Alexander Younker; daughter Susan Ross (domestic partner Ron Mikalson); son John Younker (Rose); and daughter Cindy Lantis (Larry); sister Rita Lamoly; sister Phyllis Baker; sister Vickie Pagan (Ernie); brother Richard Younker(Brenda); grand children, Erica Catic, Larry Lantis (Tami), Tricia Younker, Barbara Dixon (Chris); Micheal Younker; great grandchildren Annabelle and Cecilia Catic; Jacob and Zachary Lantis; Danika Cushman and Alexander Dixon. He follows his father John Younker, mother, Mary Jewel Younker; brother, Jerry Younker and sister, Stella Younker to rest.
A viewing and service for John will be at Healey Mortuary in Salinas on May 13, 2023 at 3:00pm. Celebration of Life to be held at a later date.
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