Dear Class of 1995:
This is a Deacon Alert to inform you of the passing of John "D.J." Guerrero on Friday, July 29th.
D.J. was the father of David Guerrero ('95) and Nicolas Guerrero.
John Guerrero, fondly known as “DJ”, passed away Friday July 29, 2016 at the age of 80.
Born June 24, 1936 to Hope (Martinez) Guerrero and Ben Guerrero in a little town near Reno, Nevada called Hazen. DJ’s mother, Hope, named him after the celebrated June 24 Feast of St. John the Baptist. He went to the orphans’ home in Carson City Nevada in 1940. John was adopted out in 1947 and moved to Sacramento California. When John was about 12 years old he started work in a Chinese grocery store called the Eye Street Bridge Market.
John joined the California National Guard in 1950 at age 14. Enlisted in the US Marines in 1953 at the young age of 17. After basic, he deployed to Korea serving in the First Marine Division Infantry as a machine gunner. After 17 months, John returned stateside in early 1955. John’s military services included member of the Military Police in Port Chicago, CA as a Special Weapons Currier, Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol Team as a shooter, returned overseas with the 3rd Marine Division to Okinawa, Japan, went to the Red Sea and Philippines and back to the Persian Gulf returning state side in 1959.
In 1963 John was called back to join the Marine Corps at the age of 28 and was sent to Viet Nam for the first of 4-tours. His companions in Viet Nam gave him his moniker D.J. It was a Swede for Minnesota who respectfully told John the meaning of this nickname, DJ or “Dirty John”. Severely wounded in 1967 he transferred to Tripler US Army Hospital in Hawaii where he would spend the next 22 months recovering from his injuries. His last tour was at Millington Naval Air Station near Memphis, TN retiring in 1970. During Johns dedicated service to this country he was the recipient of many honors and awards with his most recognized accolades being the recipient of FIVE PURPLE HEARTS. Immediately following retirement DJ moved to Fargo ND. He attended college at North Dakota State University, Fargo ND. John married Patricia Kukowski of Beach ND and two boys were born of this union, David Paul and Nicolas Guerrero.
In the course of his life in Fargo, DJ has met many fine people and worked with a host of enlightening individuals. His involvement in the Fargo community crossed many arenas. He owned his own insurance agency for 9 years. D.J’s involvement and volunteer work with the Special Olympics began in 1997. The State Summer Games moved to Fargo because of the flood in Grand Forks forcing that entire city to evacuate including the host site of the State Summer Games. With three weeks to put the six-sport, two-day event together, Special Olympics needed three hundred volunteers, equipment, and food. D.J jumped at the challenge and became our number one volunteer. He was honored that year with special recognition at the State Awards Banquet for his hard work and tenacity and the only one ever given out – the Angel Award. Since 1997, D.J has spent countless hours doing whatever is necessary to make sure that the State Games run smoothly, helping with several aspects.
John was a dedicated Bison fan and spirited NDSU sports team volunteer. He enjoyed many years volunteering for the USA wrestling tournament held at the Fargo Dome, Fridays every fall were devoted to Team Makers luncheons at the Holiday Inn, Fargo and most recently, he directed his time and effort to include the NDSU women’s basketball team.
DJ was grateful to the folks he met that treated him well and brought fullness to his life. The compassion, thoughtfulness, and goodwill of the people in the area has been appreciated and he wishes blessings upon each and every one. He especially enjoyed his friendship with his tailgating buddies, Sharon Goldsmith is to be mentioned because of her unwavering friendship and devotion and lastly cousin Kathy Valdez who was a constant companion throughout his entire life.
In his retirement, he enjoyed working with Father William Sherman in researching and documentation on North Dakota ethnic history from which several books were collaborated. Member of ND Special Olympics, USA Wrestling out of Colorado Springs CO, NDSU Teammaker, NDSU Alumni Association, Life Member DAV, VFW, Marine Corps Association, First Marine Division Association, Second and Third Marine Association, Kiwanas, Member of the AmVets, Volunteer VA Hospital, Reunion Committee member for the prior listed Marine Divisions.
Survived By: Brother Raymond Olvera, West Sacramento, CA; Sisters: Mary Erler (Bill), Honolulu, HI and Lisa Parrish, Orlando, FL; Sons: David Guerrero and Nicolas Guerrero.
Preceded in death by parents Hope and Lupe Olvera, and biological father Ben Guerrero. As well as his dear cousin Kathy Valdez.
Memorials are preferred to the ND State Special Olympics
Prayer Service will be Friday evening, Aug. 12, 2016 at 7pm Boulger Funeral Home Fargo ND with visitation from 5-7pm.
Funeral service will be held Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016 at 10am with visitation 1 hour prior at St. Anthony at Padua Catholic Church, Fargo ND.
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