Johnny Alberto Squire
April 7, 1944-December 18, 2018
On the morning of December 18, 2018 Johnny passed away at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, CA as a result of continuing health problems. Johnny was 74 years of age.
Johnny was born in San Diego, CA on April 7, 1944. He was the first of four sons born to Marie Ida and John Edwin Squire. Soon the family moved back to the family farm in Stratford, CA. Johnny attended elementary school there and remembered playing with Olympian Tommie Smith and his family, who also lived at the farm headquarters. In the mid-1950's the family moved to the “Ranch” in the Coalinga Mineral Springs. Johnny graduated from Coalinga High School in 1962. Johnny was active in the Coalinga FFA and provided rabbit, lamb, and beef to many supportive customers. He enjoyed the freedom of living on the ranch and being able ride and hunt when the chores and homework were done. After high school Johnny majored in Animal Husbandry at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He was a member of the Cal Poly show team which won the Grand Championship Carload Lot of Market Steers at the 1965 Grand National Stock Show at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. He would point out the picture in the hall of champions whenever visiting Cal Poly. He was proudly a member of the Rally Committee every year while attending Cal Poly, as well as Boots and Spurs, Rodeo Club and other related campus organizations.
While attending Cal Poly Johnny met and married Susan Ditewig, another Cal Poly student. Soon their first son, John Bruce was born. Johnny and Susan returned to the valley and made their home in Coalinga. Son, Kirk William was welcomed to the clan and then later they received guardianship for son Martin Lopez. The couple separated in late 1986. Johnny married Katherine Couch in 1989 and son Leroy Allen was born the next year.
Johnny took on the hands-on daily management of the family farming operation in Stratford, growing cotton and grains, Sudan hay and other field crops through the years. He continued to actively farm in Stratford and for several years at NAS Lemoore, until his retirement 8 years ago due to health issues.
In January 1968 Johnny joined Coalinga Grange where his parents were members. Soon, after meeting other young couples in the Grange at his first California State Grange convention, he transferred his membership to Riverdale Grange and had many adventures at conferences, camps, and conventions. Johnny was elected Master (President) of Riverdale Grange and the Fresno-Madera Pomona (regional) Grange. Johnny, from the mid 1980's until 2012, served multiple terms as a California State Grange Executive Committee member, Regional Youth Advisor, and Agriculture Committee Chairman. Johnny had a strong impact on the Agricultural policy of the California and National Grange and was highly thought of and is greatly missed at all levels of the organization.
Johnny was a past President of the Coalinga Eagles Aerie. He served as a director of the Coalinga Youth Ag Boosters supporting FFA and 4-H activities in Coalinga. He served as a 4-H project leader, supported his sons and youngest brother in Scouting, and coached Little League. In addition he supported events and activities in Coalinga, Stratford, and Riverdale.
Johnny was predeceased by his parents John and Marie.
Johnny is survived by his brothers Edwin, Clark, and Albert, his wife Katie, sons John, Kirk, Martin, and Leroy, daughter-in-laws Kimberly Squire and Brooke Lopez and 5 grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life is planned for April 6, 2019 on the Squire Ranch in Coalinga. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Grange Foundation, Washington, DC; Coalinga Ag Boosters; Baker Museum, Coalinga CA; or the Sequoia Council Boy Scouts of America, Fresno, CA.