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World War II veteran

A survivor of Pearl Harbor, San Francisco native John Valverde enlisted in the Marine Reserves in 1938 and received an early discharge in 1940 in order to enlist in the Navy, where he became a Gunner's Mate lst Class on the USS Hull, a destroyer with the Division One Pacific Fleet.

At the time of the Pearl Harbor attack Mr. Valverde's ship was alongside the USS Dobbin undergoing tender overhaul. Somehow the crew was able to navigate the ship out of the harbor under major attack avoiding damage to the ship and crew.

In December of 1944, a Pacific Typhoon hit the USS Hull unexpectedly, eventually causing his ship to capsize and sink. Its crew was tossed into the ocean. Mr. Valverde and several ship mates spent 72 hours in a life boat before being rescued.

Upon discharge from the Navy, in 1946 he married his wife Frances in Bremerton, Wash. They moved to San Francisco, where Mr. Valverde worked as a warehouse man for several years, later changing careers owning and operating various service stations in the bay area.

They eventually moved to Ukiah, where they owned and operated a Union 76 service station where he and Frances worked side by side for many years. Upon retirement in 1987 they moved to Petaluma to be closer to their children.

Mr. Valverde died at his Petaluma home on Jan. 23, 2012. He was 93.

He is survived by his daughters Francine Hatfield, and Tracy Escher, both of Petaluma; grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Frances Valverde; and three siblings.

At his request there will be no services. Donations may be made to a charity of the donor's choice.


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