John Harvey Stein died at his home in Alamo surrounded by his family, on Sept 6. He was 87. He was born on July 25, 1933 in St. Cloud, Minnesota, the first of six children born to Clement and Virginia Stein. He entered the military after high school and served in the United States Navy. His first duty was an assignment to the galley as a cook. Most of his Navy time was spent in Hawaii. When he was discharged from the Navy, he returned to his hometown and enrolled in St. Cloud State University where he studied history and economics. There he met his future wife, Vivian Aanerud. John and Vivian were married on August 11, 1956 in Morris, Minnesota. After college he worked at the Social Security Administration in a Minnesota small town but had not given up the dream of moving West. He was drawn by the lure of the Golden State and moved his family to California in 1960. He eventually settled in Alamo, where he retired after 30 years of government service.
He was a member of St. Isidore’s parish of Danville and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He worked on the Knight’s annual Christmas breakfast fundraiser by collecting boxes for the food donations, sorting food and unloading turkeys when the truck delivered them. In later years he helped cook the Christmas breakfast. His favorite station was cooking the bacon.
John was a fabulous cook. He was a fan of Julia Child and experimented with French cuisine. He loved teaching cooking skills to his granddaughter, Claire. He spent time in the backyard orchard where he grew plums, peaches and apples. He discovered camping in the 1960’s and had a classic green canvas tent the family used during car trips. He loved car trips of any kind. He had the good fortune to retire at age 55 so he had over 30 years to walk his dogs, take bicycle rides and tend his gardens.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Vivian, son James (Patti) of Alameda and daughter Susan (Robert) of Danville, grandchildren Mitchel, Kevin and Claire. He is also survived by brothers Tom and George and his “baby sister” Margaret. He is predeceased by his parents, Clement and Virginia and sisters Mary and Virginia.
Viewing will occur at Wilson & Kratzer Chapel of San Ramon Valley on September 18, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with a rosary being said at 2:00 p.m.. In-person viewing, with proper Covid-19 protocols, will be available one household at a time. Viewing will stream live on the Wilson and Kratzer website. A private ceremony will be held at Queen of Heaven cemetery in Lafayette on Friday, Sept. 25 at 11:00 a.m.
Donations in his honor can be made to Knights of Columbus Council 4060, for their food basket program. c/o St. Isidore Church, 440 La Gonda Way, Danville, CA 94526.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Harvey Stein, please visit our floral store.