Courageous veteran, community activist
John Ozias, a 60-year resident of Claremont, died Saturday, March 25, 2017 at the age of 92.
A native Californian, he was born in Fullerton, the third oldest child of Jesse and Velma Ozias. In 1942, three days after graduation from Fullerton High School, he enlisted in the US Navy and was eventually assigned to the USS Enterprise as an Aviation Machinist Mate, 2nd Class. It was Mr. Ozias’ job to keep the lead pilot’s plane battle-ready at all times. He participated in significant battles of the Pacific Theater, including Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the liberation of the Philippines, and earned four bronze stars.
Mr. Ozias worked as a retail grocery clerk for more than 30 years, retiring from Lucky Stores in 1986. He was also a grocery store manager for seven years with Alpha Beta in Pomona and Michael’s Market in Upland. In retirement, John was a dedicated member of Active Claremont. In the mid-1990s and in 2002, he led campaigns against water rate increases for the residents and businesses in Claremont.
He was married to Beulah for 10 years. Prior to that, he was married to Theon for 50 years and is survived by their daughter, Kim Jones of Alta Loma, and two grandchildren, Matthew Jones of Claremont and Kayla Jones of Alta Loma. He is also survived by one brother, Bruce, of Osawatomie, Kansas.
Memorial services were held at Foothill Bible Church in Upland on April 8.