John "Bud" Dekleva, Jr. was born on Nov. 19, 1933 at Somerset, Colo., to John and Mary Dekleva, and passed away on Aug. 29, 2016, at Hope West Hospice after a brief illness.
John attended school at Somerset through the eighth grade and graduated from Paonia High School with the class of 1951. He was a football and wrestling standout. He attended Colorado A&M College (now Colorado State University) in Fort Collins, where he played football for the Aggies for four years as a guard. In 1955 the team won the Skyline Conference championship and was invited to play in the Salad Bowl game in Phoenix, Ariz. John graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education and History. He enlisted in the Marine Corps and was accepted to the Officer's Candidate School at Quantico, Va., on Jan. 1, 1957. Upon completion of his training as a 2nd Lieutenant, he was assigned to the 5th Marines Unit at Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he was a Platoon Leader. He also played football for the Marine Corps. John was honorably discharged in March 1960.
John married JoAnn, the love of his life for 55 years, in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., on Oct. 22, 1960. He took a job with TRW, Inc. as a systems analyst for the Ballistic Missiles Division, working on the Titan missiles. John spent his career with TRW, Inc. working in southern California, except for three years when he was assigned to Boston, Mass. John and JoAnn lived in Riverside, Calif. When he retired in November 1992 they moved to Ramona, Calif., where they were busy playing golf, making new friends, and traveling. John's favorite places were the Big Island of Hawaii on the Kona Coast and Ocean Shores, Wash.
John was an outgoing person who made friends easily. In November 2000 he suffered a massive stroke, which left him unable to speak or write. He and JoAnn moved to Grand Junction in 2003 to be near family. Although unable to communicate with words, his love and warm personality were communicated through his easy smile, his warm brown eyes, and a mischievous wink. He will be missed and live in our hearts forever.
Survivors include his wife, JoAnn; sister, Caroline Retolaza; niece, Michelle Shaffer, husband, Scott and sons, Matthew and Nicholas all of Grand Junction; two nieces, Andrea Kratzert and Kerri Biranus and families all of Lancaster, Pa.
A memorial service will be held at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2830 Riverside Parkway, on Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 1 p.m. A reception at the Chipeta Golf Course clubhouse will follow.