Jack Valenti
Jack Valenti

Obituary of Jack Valenti

Well, if you are reading this; I guess my time on this earth has expired. I have gone to join my ancestors in the hereafter; preceded by my father Frank in 1972, my mother Rose in 2000 and my sister Maxine in 2016. I always wanted to go in my sleep, but God decided it would be congestive heart failure. My family was able to be with me when I passed. Brad (Elizabeth) and their three boys (James – wife Devon, Sean & Craig) live in New Hampshire. Petrina (Bill Riso) and their two children Portia (Cameron & Children Kash & Avery Kay) in Nevada and Anthony (Michel’le) in Idaho. Andrea lives in Seattle and Nicholas (Lupe) live in the bay area. One thing I know for sure is my wife of 55 years, LaDonna, was surely by my side as she has always been a loving, faithful wife and companion. Jack passed away peacefully at home on the morning of November first, 2022, All Saints Day. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I grew up in a small town (Natrona Heights) up the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh. I went to the same parochial school (St. Joseph) in Natrona for 12 years and graduated in 1956. I then went on to Pharmacy School at Duquesne University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy, graduating in 1960. Working as a Registered Pharmacist in the Pittsburgh area for about a year, I then took the California State Pharmacy exam, passed, and came to California to make my fortune…. I had some exceptionally good employers the first few years working here in the Monterey Bay Area. Some may be familiar; David Silver at Midway Drug now gone; John Kinn at Fairway Pharmacy also now gone. Gaining experience in my field, I formed a partnership with Pharmacist Jerry Abbanat, and we bought Park Pharmacy in Paso Robles in 1966. Since I was single at the time and he was married with two children and a home here, I moved to Paso Robles to manage and run that operation. In June of 1967 I married LaDonna M. Anderson in Paso Robles who I had met here in Monterey. The year before -- also in October -- Jerry and I bought Ordway Pharmacy in Monterey. Eventually selling the Paso Robles Store, Donna and I moved back to Monterey to assist Jerry in the running of Ordway. Let me say this: Jerry has always been the greatest partner anyone could have had for all these years. More like a brother that I never had. I may not have made a fortune in California, but he was very instrumental in making all our ventures profitable and I have never missed a meal. We expanded our business by buying several pharmacies in the Santa Cruz area and one at Lake Tahoe and took on a new partner (Vince J. Cardinale – like another brother I never had) to manage and run that long-distance store. During the “Urban Renewal” of downtown Monterey, we made a proposal to the city to build the Paseo de Alvarado Building, hoping to move the Ordway Pharmacy into larger quarters. The building should still be standing but our plans for the Pharmacy never materialized. Instead, we became landlords. Later we bought the old American Savings & Loan building at the entrance of Alvarado St. and moved Ordway Pharmacy to that location. It is possible that you may have seen me driving a WW II Jeep in many of the local parades, with my trusted friend and “gunner” John Dick or seen me tooling around town in my 1964 Yellow Porsche that I had bought new in October 1963. Not anymore as I am done, and God has other plans for me at this time. I have had a good life and no complaints. There were not many things on my bucket list that did not get done. Scuba divining in the Monterey Bay in my younger life, got a pilot’s license later in life. A member of the Old Capital Lions Club for over 50 years, life member of the NRA and the Military Vehicle Collectors of California. Enjoying many hobbies during my retirement. Wishing all my relatives, friends and acquaintances much love, a fond farewell and only the best wishes. May we meet sometime in the not too near (for you) future. The family request that in lieu of flowers, please make donations to San Carlos Cathedral in Monterey; Jack’s longtime parish and where he served as a Eucharistic minister for many years. Funeral Mass at San Carlos Cathedral in Monterey (TBA)
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Mission Mortuary
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