JOHNNIE JOSEPH RAMONDINI 7/11/1916-2/20/2013 Johnnie Joseph Ramondini was born on July 11, 1916 on the Crocker Huffman Meadowbrook Farm in Merced, CA and passed away on February 20, 2013 at the age of 96. Johnnie was the youngest of 5 children born to Ernesto and Virginia (Mariotta) Ramondini, Italian and Swiss immigrants respectively. He was proud to call himself a "farm boy" and loved to tell stories of growing up along the Merced River in the Amsterdam area of the county. He and his siblings rode horseback from their dairy farm to the Washington School where he completed 8th grade. He was a driver for Cross Lumber in the mid 1930's...
JOHNNIE JOSEPH RAMONDINI
Johnnie Joseph Ramondini was born on July 11, 1916 on the Crocker Huffman Meadowbrook Farm in Merced, CA and passed away on February 20, 2013 at the age of 96.
Johnnie was the youngest of 5 children born to Ernesto and Virginia (Mariotta) Ramondini, Italian and Swiss immigrants respectively. He was proud to call himself a "farm boy" and loved to tell stories of growing up along the Merced River in the Amsterdam area of the county. He and his siblings rode horseback from their dairy farm to the Washington School where he completed 8th grade.
He was a driver for Cross Lumber in the mid 1930's and also drove for Merced Dairy and Ice Co. through 1942. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Merced Army Flying School (later called Castle Air Force Base). He was an Aerial Engineer and was Crew Chief for the 482nd Army Air Force Base Unit.
After his discharge he worked as a plumber for Bardini's Plumbing. He purchased that business in 1953 and renamed it Johnnie's Plumbing. Former customers still speak of his honesty, workmanship and courteous and friendly service.
In 1964 Johnnie was elected to his first term as Merced County Supervisor of District One. During his 16 years of service he served as board chairman, president of the San Joaquin Valley Supervisors Assn., served on the Governor's air pollution control board and was a director of the California Supervisors Assn. in 1966 and 1967. He retired in 1980 after helping effect the expansion of Merced Community Hospital, construction of the County Library and the new Merced County Administration building.
Johnnie held memberships in Yosemite Masonic Lodge 99, Boots and Slippers Square Dance Group, Merced Antiques Study Group, Merced County Historical Society, the Lake Side Club, Merced County Old Timers Assn., Merced-Mariposa Horsemen's Assn., Merced County Sheriff's Posse, Merced Elks Lodge #1240 and was a Life Member of American Legion Post 83. He supported both 4-H and FFA and received the 4-H Meritorious Service Award in 1971 and was made an honorary Chapter Farmer in 1965. In 2003 he was honored to be named the Grand Marshall of the Merced County Fair.
Johnnie's long time hobby was the restoration of old carriages, wagons, sleighs and surreys that had once used the dirt roads of Merced County. He purchased an old upholstery sewing machine, taught himself to sew and made whole again the tattered and broken transportation vehicles of bygone years. He raised registered polled Herefords and was still mounting a horse at the age of 93. He loved gardening and even in his 96th year was potting his flowers and growing his tomatoes.
Johnnie was a lover of people. He enjoyed visiting with friends and making new ones. He stopped in at nursing homes and hospitals to keep in touch with others he knew. His gifts of kindness were sprinkled everywhere. He often said that he was a very lucky man – he had the most wonderful, loving family and a blessed life.
Johnnie met Dorothy Hooper of Madera at a dance in Planada and they were married February 11, 1939. They were married for 50 years before she passed away in 1989. They had two daughters. He was married a second time in 1991 to Mrs. Nita Kindle who passed away in 2007.
Johnnie was preceded in death by his wives, Dorothy and Nita; brothers, Joseph and Ernie; and sisters, Mary Pettinotti and Rose Trabucco Berg.
He is survived daughters, Sharon Wainwright (Steve) of Merced and Deborah Gangwer (Jim) of Napa; granddaughters, Stacey Cummings (Paul) and Suzanne Cyr (Jason) all of Portland, OR; great-grandchildren, Taylor, Austin, Kate Cyr and David, Anna and Stephen Cummings; step-daughter, Pam Colgate of Fresno and her sons, Steve, Mike, and Scott; step-daughter, Judy (Gil) Hitchcock of Reno, NV and her son, Kyle; sister-in-laws, Daphne (Hooper) Schulkins of Clovis and Wanda Ramondini of Merced; and several nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed by his many friends at The Hampshire Retirement Community and many others who cherished his lasting friendship.
The family wishes to thank Dr. James Adrian for his years of ministration to Johnnie as both a patient and a friend. And also to Terrie Rhodes and her wonderful staff for the gentle care and consideration they provided.
At the request of the family, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Merced County Historical Society, Old County Courthouse, 21st & "N" St., Merced, CA 95340 or another charity of the donor's choice.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27th at Central Presbyterian Church, 1920 Canal Street, Merced.
Arrangements are under the direction of Stratford Evans Merced Funeral Home.