John was born on June 25, 1934, in Clarendon, Texas, to John Howard Moree Sr. and Mary Marie Upton Moree. John Jr. and his three sisters Lavoria, LaFon, and Shirley were raised in and around the Clarendon area where John became a very popular member of the community. Shortly after graduating from Shamrock High School, he and his best friend Albert Lewis Johnson enlisted in the Marine Corps. He completed basic training in San Diego before deploying to Okinawa, Japan. Following a military vehicle accident Corporal Moree was transferred to the military base at 29 Palms. A fellow marine invited John to join him and his family for a weekend in Exeter, CA. While at a party in Exeter he was offered a piece of cake by Patricia Ann Mangels, who would become his “forever girlfriend”, the love of his life. The two were married on September 1, 1956, and moved to Borger, TX, where their son, John Howard Moree III was brought into the world on July 4, 1958. John worked with his father until moving his family back to Exeter, CA, where Patricia could be close to her mother Mazine Mangels. The couple gave birth to a daughter, Kathleen Alison Moree, on August 29, 1960. John worked at Wheeling Pacific, and then Monarch Air Conditioning, learning the refrigeration and sheet metal trade. Eventually he decided to go into business for himself, where he set up shop in the garage of JC and Marylou Smith. In 1973 he moved his business to downtown Exeter at 134 S. E St. After their children were grown, he and Pat moved to a home at 127 N. B St. that would also serve as the new location for his business. John and Patricia were blessed with 7 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren who became their pride and joy. In addition to his work he enjoyed collecting Case knives, creating artwork from metal and wood, and tinkering with old cars. He coached little league, enjoyed bowling in a local league that he sponsored, and would take anyone on for a game of Chickenfoot. He also served as a member of the Lions Club and the American Legion.
John never got over the loss of his Patricia, who passed away on July 3, 2019, but doted on his companion puppy Bagel until he could join her again. He is also preceded in death by his parents, his sister Lafon, his son Johnny and daughter-in-law Lorna, and 2 grandchildren Aaron and Andrew.
John is remembered lovingly by his surviving family, sisters LaVoria and Shirley, adopted brother Tim, daughter Kathleen and son-in-law Clifford Brooks, 5 grandchildren Joshua Moree (Casey Heck), Alison Stewart (Jesse), Matthew Brooks, Ashley Manns (Robert), and Hayley Gonzalez (Joe), as well as 11 great-grandchildren: Melissa, Kaylee, Keirin, Madison, Mitchell, Logan, Mia, Keegan, Dylan, Emma, and Patty. He also leaves behind many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends who have many fond memories of their beloved “Donnie.”
John’s grandson, Matthew, lived with and cared for both of his grandparents prior to their passing, making it possible for each of them to remain at home as their health declined. It was because of Matt, the nurses in our family, Josh and Ashley, as well as the Hospice Workers through Compassionate Care Home Health that John was able to pass peacefully in his home surrounded by his loved ones. In lieu of flowers the family would like to suggest a donation to the American Cancer Society or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
John will be laid to rest during a private graveside service at the Exeter District Cemetery. A public Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 28, 2022, from 11:00am-2:00pm at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Exeter Lodge, Aerie #3608, 555 W. Visalia Rd., Exeter, CA 93221. The family would like to express their gratitude to Smith Family Chapel as well as the Exeter Eagles Lodge for their support during this difficult time.
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