A well-known native son, John Paul Radin died at home of natural causes on December 8, 2017 at the age of 91.
John was the younger son of Croatian immigrants, Peter and Mare Radin. Born in Watsonville, he attended local schools and worked beside his father and older brother, Peter, in the family apple orchard. On the day of his high school graduation in 1944, he received his draft notice. John was proud of his U.S. Army service: he fought in World War II and the Korean conflict. Between the two wars, John graduated from Heald’s Business College with an accounting degree. He met his wife, Clara Stackhouse, while working in San Francisco. They were married for 65 years, and have two children, Cathryn Radin Freitas and Susan Joan Gallagher.
Ultimately, John moved his young family to Watsonville and worked for Peter J. Sapro, CPA. As an experienced accountant, John was hired by the City of Watsonville. For 28 years, he rose through the ranks from Purchasing Officer to City Manager. Most notably, he worked with local and regional leaders to secure Federal aid to assist in the rebuilding of the city after the Loma Prieta earthquake.
A highlight of his life was his selection by the International City Management Association for an exchange program in England. During this visit, John and Clara were introduced to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Over the years the Radins remained close friends with their English municipal counterparts and together they toured England, Europe and the US.
Community service was important to John. He was Treasurer of the Agricultural History Project and a Boardmember at Independence Square. He maintained long-standing memberships in Rotary, the Elk’s Club, and the Slavic American Cultural Organization.
Perhaps most importantly, John was a family man. On weekends, he focused his time at the ranches, farming with his brother. Upon his retirement from the City in 1991, farming became his full-time occupation. John adored his wife and children, enjoyed his son-in-law (Donald Freitas), and doted on his nephew, Peter Radin, Jr., and his niece, Michelle Radin Deen. His grandchildren were the light of his life: Megan Gallagher, Ryan Gallagher and Patrick Freitas.
Visitation will be held at Mehl’s Colonial Chapel on Thursday, December 14 from 6-8 p.m. A memorial Mass will be held at Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church on Friday, December 15, 2017 at 10 a.m., followed by a reception at the Woman’s Club in Watsonville. Contributions in John’s memory may be sent to the Ag History Project, PO Box 1181, Watsonville, CA 95077 or the charity of your choice.