John Anthony Lukrich, 88, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by family on November 8, 2022. Born on November 26, 1933, he attended Watsonville public schools and graduated Watsonville High in the class of 1952.
Through his earliest years, he worked alongside his father, John M. Lukrich, a lifetime apple grower, and upon his father’s death, continued to build upon his father’s legacy and ultimately became one of the valley’s most prominent apple growers.
Along with his dedication to his business, he was a member of the board of directors of the Apple Growers Ice & Cold Storage, of which his father was a founding member.
He was a supporter of the Watsonville Agriculture History Project in which many of the Lukrich family apple labels and photographs are displayed.
He was very proud to have one of his family’s apple labels prominently displayed in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington D.C.
John will be remembered as a very kind man. He was extremely successful because of his hard work ethic and honesty. He truly enjoyed his relationships with other local farmers, business associates, and tenants. His friends will remember fondly his large hand that offered a gentle handshake.
He leaves his wife of 50 years, Antoinette, her children Craig (Linda) Griffin and Janice (Stan) House and her grandchildren. He leaves his sisters Christelle Lukrich and Anne Lukrich Dobler and his brother-in-law Ken Dobler. He was proud of his nephews Steven (Laurie) Dobler and Craig (Anna) Dobler and niece Deanne (Anthony) Cagnacci. He also leaves his great nephews and nieces Jacob and Brian Dobler, Lindsay and Claire Cagnacci, and Braden and Gwen Dobler.
The family wishes to extend their deepest appreciation to the Dignity Health team and the dedicated and loving caregivers that cared for John.
A catholic mass will be held Friday, November 18 at 10:00am at Our Lady Help of Christians (Valley) church. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Mehl’s Colonial Chapel. The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bridge Hospice (6 Quail Run Circle, Unit 103, Salinas, CA 93907) or the Agriculture History Project (2601 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville, CA 95076).