John L. Stockdill

January 20, 2017

John L. Stockdill 

John L. Stockdill, charismatic, devoted family man, WWII US Navy veteran, retired teacher, and advocate for social justice, died at home in Santa Paula on December 26th, 2016, two days after his 93rd birthday.

Loved and revered for his generosity—especially of spirit, he provided kind-hearted encouragement and material support, not only to family but to friends and students needing his help. An artful story teller, weaving details and insights with great warmth and exuberance, and often punctuating his tales with tearful laughter that would have you laughing helplessly too, he got you to see life from a hopeful perspective no matter what obstacle you faced.

Born into a Spanish-speaking household in Bellflower, CA, and raised and educated in Albuquerque, New Mexico, earning his MS degree at UNM, he and his wife Ann (née White) relocated their family to California, settling in Ventura in 1966.  As a longtime Spanish teacher and coach at Santa Paula High School, owner of Continental Deli, parent of ten children, and uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather to dozens, he had countless opportunities to play a role in the lives of young people. There are more than a few Venturans and Santa Paulans whose first job was at the Deli, and who count him as their favorite teacher, each with their own story of Mr. Stockdill, his kindness, and his larger-than-life personality.

John proudly served in the Navy as a carpenter’s mate aboard the USS Boise during WWII, and in recent years loved attending reunions with his shipmates.  A champion of the little guy, he was concerned with social justice, supporting Democratic candidates and environmental causes. He saw the good in everyone, counting among his respected friends and loved ones those from all backgrounds, orientations and political affiliations.

Few people one encounters in life will root for you, imagine the best for you, and give all they have to help you—just because they have a vision for you that emerges from pure love.  In our Dad and in our Mother, Ann, we have had, and continue to have just that. We are grateful.  

John is survived by his wife of 67 years Ann Stockdill; daughters Bonnie Maruquin (Mogie), Jenny Benjamin, Liz Stockdill, Maria Lopez, Cathryn Kennedi; sons John, Steven, Mike, Chris (Teri) David; nephew Patrick Gilliland; grandkids Ben Maruquin (Erin), Monica Maruquin, Joel, Rachel and Joshua Benjamin, Sean and Corey Lopez, Blair, Michael and Matthew Stockdill, Paul and Claire Stockdill; great-grandkids Dylan and Jack Gutierrez and Campbell and Hayes Maruquin. He is preceded in death by great-granddaughter Alaina Stockdill, his sister Isabelle Gilliland, and his mother June Maldonado Venn. 

  A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at San Buenaventura Mission on Friday, January 27 at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at 11:30 at Santa Clara Cemetery.

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