Jon Philip Rapazzini

Jon Philip Rapazzini

Born in San Jose, CA, June 19, 1939, to parents Angelo and Vita Rapazzini. He is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Zondra, who had befriended Jon for 12 years prior to their marriage; his brother Victor Rapazzini and wife Cynthia; sister Selma Rapazzini Weisenbeck and her husband, David; two sons, Mark Rapazzini, and his wife Kris and their children Adrian and Melina, and Todd Rapazzini, and his children, Alexandra and Joseph, and his fiance Christina and her daughter Jenna; and god-children Gabriel Somerville, Benjamin Somerville, Joseph Hanna, Matthew and Maximus Clausing, Brannock Valory, Josiah Michael Steiger, Zenovia Flippen, Katrina Trigg, and Xenia Yohannen; and adopted Italian daughter, Stacey Valory.

Jon attended Woodrow Wilson Jr. High and graduated from San Jose High School in 1958, where he played both basketball and football. For a time he attended San Jose State University.

Jon was an active member of the Elks Lodge in Gilroy; member and past President of Santa Clara Wine Growers Association; member of Knights of the Vine; sponsored and played Gilroy and Morgan Hill Park Recreation basketball for over 30 years; member of Gilroy Chamber of Commerce and Gilroy Tourist and Visitors Board.

In 1962 Jon, along with his brother, Victor and friend Angelo Bertero, purchased an old winery in Gilroy, CA, where he founded Rapazzini Winery. For forty years the winery produced award- winning wines. At one point in time, the historic winery burned to the ground destroying millions of dollars in inventory. It was soon after this that Jon began to sense an emptiness in his life and his old high school friend, Father John Hardenbrook of Saint Lawrence Orthodox Christian Church, Felton, helped him on his spiritual journey. Several years passed, then in 1996, following the tragic death of Zondra’s 18-year-old son, Max, Jon turned to the Christian Orthodox faith for comfort, healing, and a Christian understanding of death and resurrection. At this time, Jon and Zondra met another Saint Lawrence priest, Father Simeon Berven, who led them into the Holy Orthodox Church. Jon sold the Rapazzini Winery and their beautiful home in San Juan Bautista and moved to Ben Lomond in order to be at the heart of the St. Lawrence community. Jon and Zondra soon became involved with the founding of Abbot’s Thrift Store, sponsored children at the Saint Lawrence Academy, drove newlyweds to their reception in Jon’s 1935 Ford Coup, supported monasteries, and went on pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Jon enjoyed his life with many family and friends. He was especially kind to children. He loved all sports but especially fishing in Alaska. He traveled extensively and loved eating good food. He was beloved by all who knew him.

Two years ago, Jon was diagnosed with ALS and although his illness was a great struggle, he courageously accepted the end of his journey here on earth. In the last days of Jon’s life he expressed no fear of death but rather placed his hope on the Resurrection of Christ, the Savior. He entered into the Heavenly Kingdom on April 7, 2010. May his memory be eternal!

Many thanks to our beloved brothers and sisters of Saint Lawrence Orthodox Christian Church and Saint Silouan Orthodox Monastery. In memory of Jon, please donate to ALS research and Saint Lawrence Academy (K-8), Felton, CA. The funeral will be held at 10:00 A.M. at Saint Lawrence Church, 6192 Highway 9, Felton, CA. this morning (Friday April 9, 2010 ) beginning at 10:00 A.M. Burial will follow at Felton District Cemetery.

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