John Jacob Menne
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John Jacob Menne, 91, from a pioneering Ventura County family, passed away peacefully at home in Somis surrounded by his loving family. He grew up on the "Home Ranch" and attended Santa Clara Parish grammar school and Villanova Preparatory School. After attending UC Davis and Cal Poly Pomona studying agriculture, he fulfilled his service obligation enlisting in the US Force. Stationed in Japan, he obtained the rank of Lieutenant, with top secret clearance. He was also a member of the USAF Skeet and Trap Teams.
John returned to Ventura County to start a vegetable farming business with his father and later his brother Dave. This business grew into a diversified farming operation in California, including growing a variety of vegetables, strawberries and citrus.
John loved the land as a farmer and equally so as a successful investor in commercial real estate. He served on several Boards within the agricultural industry and his community, including a founding member and Chairman of the Board of Ventura Pacific Company as well as Trustee at Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai. He was an active member of Padre Serra parish and enjoyed hunting, fishing and playing tennis. But all of that was secondary the moment he met Carolyn Daily at a party arranged by Carolyn's cousin (Marcia Livingston Donlon). After a brief courtship, he proposed and they were married September 1957 at St Mary Magdalen's Chapel in Camarillo. They raised their 3 children (John, Lynne and Martin) in Camarillo.
Education was very important to John, and his guidance led all of his children and grandchildren to obtain undergraduate and/or graduate degrees from UC Davis, Santa Clara, USC (6), Michigan, Georgetown, Wisconsin and USD (2). John and Carolyn's love for each other was so strong, and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the beneficiaries. Perhaps the best picture of John is presented by his 8 grandchildren:
"Gramps is remembered as a loving, strong, disciplined, hardworking and honest man. He loved the outdoors and taught us how to appreciate nature (including flyfishing at Yosemite and Sun Valley!). He was understated and a gentleman, never a braggart or showman. He loved USC Football and tennis, and taught us how to compete aggressively but lose gracefully. We are blessed he showed us how to build a joyful, successful and impactful life. More than anything, Gramps will be remembered for his love of Carolyn (Nana) and his family. Their love was unlike anything else, and that love will continue to be an inspiration for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren."
John is predeceased by his parents (Mary Wagner and John) and siblings (Phyllis Carroll, Marilyn Hansen, and David) and grandson (Michael Arizmendi). He is survived by his wife of 63 years (Carolyn); children: John (Judy), Lynne Arizmendi (Mark) and Martin (Becky), grandchildren: Peter and Charlie Menne; Hunter Arizmendi (Celia Claire), Lauren Lamb (Jeff) and Megan Arizmendi; Kate, Bridget, and Mallory Menne and great-grandchildren Sutter and Georgia Lamb and Grayson Arizmendi.
The family thanks Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurses for their immediate and caring hospice care, and especially John's caregivers Michael Dy and Anne Jamilla who faithfully served John during his last couple of years. The funeral Mass and Burial will be private in consideration of COVID-19 restrictions. Please direct donations to Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurses, Padre Serra, Ventura County Museum, or your favorite charity.