The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Obituaries

July 7, 2013

John Lewis Marana

TEMECULA, Calif. — John Lewis Marana, 88, who lived in the Temecula, Calif., area for 50 years, passed away Monday, July 1, 2013.

Memorial services will begin at 11 a.m. PDT Friday, July 12, at Temecula Valley Elks Lodge, 28061 Diaz Road, Temecula, Calif.

He was born on March 17, 1925, in Danville, where he grew up and attended school. He was the third of 10 children born to Hazel and Mike Marana.

When he left high school, he joined the Army and served until February 1946.

He married Martha Carson in 1947 and they moved to California in 1954. John was principal in the formation of Western Filling Corporation in 1954, a chemical manufacturing business that specialized in aerosol products. During this period, John spent a great deal of time on the East Coast and in 1962 was successful in getting their corporation listed on the American Stock Exchange with Aerosol Techniques Incorporated.

In 1963, the Maranas purchased a ranch east of Temecula known as Sunnybrook Ranch, which was previously owned by Frank Morgan who played the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz. They changed the name to Shamrock Valley Ranch because he was born on Saint Patrick’s Day. Overnight, the city folks woke up with 65 head of registered Angus cattle, a herd bull and 13 3-year-old bulls.

John enjoyed his weekends watching his children participate in Gymkhanas and, when he was 50, he joined them in this sport. He was the oldest rider in the field. His enjoyment of horses led him to owning and racing thoroughbreds. Their horses raced almost every weekend on the West Coast or in Mexico and this continued through 1968.

In 1970, John formed Shamrock Sand and Rock Corp. They mined sand and rock out of the Temecula Creek that ran through their ranch property. In 1975, Shamrock Redi Mix Company was started with batch plants in Aguanga, Calif., and Old Town Temecula. He enjoyed sponsoring baseball teams, picnics and other social events for their employees.

In 1977, they purchased the Homestead Restaurant and expanded it to include a nightclub that had entertainment five nights a week. They loved to dance and enjoyed the business for a full 10 years. They sold the Homestead Corporation and Shamrock Redi Mix in 1986 and semi-retired. All of the warm and personal relationships they developed with their employees over the past 60 years continued until his death. They purchased a motor home and traveled throughout the United States. John and Martha made frequent trips to the beach with their family in their motor home. John loved to bowl, play golf, snow ski, dance, ride horses, and he also belonged to the Elks Lodge for 68 years.

John is preceded in death by his wife, Martha, in 2007 after 59 years of marriage. He is also preceded in death by his sisters, Madella Thatcher, Marie Wills and Doris Marana, and his brother, Robert.

He is survived by his children: son, Jeffrey and his wife, Tamira Marana; daughter, Jean and her husband, Gary Clawson; daughter, Janet and her husband, Chris Gillies; his six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren; sister, Louella Podolor; and brothers, Paul, Carl, Frank and Tom.

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