John A. Pachico Jr died on November 19 after a long illness. John was born at home on Summer Street in Vineyard Haven on August 10, 1927. He was the third child of John A. and Marjorie (Lewis) Pachico. John’s siblings were Ruth, who died at the age of 3 from eating poison berries, Ernest, Priscilla (Estrella), Laura (Welty), Bunny (Oliver), and Robert.
John went to work at age 15 and worked hard at many different jobs to retire at 75. His love has always been the water. He joined the Merchant Marine at 17 and began his world travels. He made 10 trips on Liberty Ships to places like Belgium, Japan, and France, to name a few. John returned home after about a year and a half and went to work for his father until he went on his first fishing trip and realized his love of fishing. His fishing career was interrupted by Uncle Sam, and he was drafted into the army. He was sent to Korea where he served 13 months, most of which was on the MLR line dividing North and South Korea. He was put in charge of a 1946 Patton Tank, which he loved. He was very proud of his service to his country.
Upon returning home he was footloose and had a little money in his pocket, so he went cross-country to California with two other Island friends, Frank Jardin and Tony King. In California they got an apartment in North Hollywood and went to work for General Motors. They stayed a year and a half.
When John returned home, he met and married his first wife Sandra (Ferreira) and they started their life together welcoming four children: Glenn (wife Sheila), Bradford (predeceased John in 1982), Carla (husband Steven Furtaw), and Elexis (husband Erik) Wildanger.
John started out his career as a painter but became a commercial fisherman, which remained his passion until the end. He fished on nine boats. Of all the fish that they harvested his greatest joy was harpooning swordfish. The largest swordfish John harpooned was 750 pounds, whose sword he made into a sword with a handle. He proudly displayed it in his home and loved to tell the story.
Another story John was asked to tell many times was a near-death experience when the fishing boat he was on was nearly pulled under when its net was caught by the nuclear sub, Nautilus, and was pulled backwards until the cable holding the net snapped.
John gave up fishing to take care of things at home. Painting became his next career. Eventually he would start a partnership with fellow painter Arthur Strople. They did eventually go their separate ways and John started “John Pachico & Sons,” a painting business. John built a strong reputation on honesty and integrity. John always gave 100 percent to every job he did, both business or personal.
John and Sandra bought John’s Fish Market from John’s father. They worked together while raising their family. They opened many bushels of scallops over the years. When John and Sandra divorced, Sandra became sole owner. The market is still going strong.
In his later years John still loved the water. He set lobster pots for years and many tables between here and Wells, Maine, saw his bounty. He scalloped, clammed, quahoged, and crabbed every chance he had.John purchased a mobile home in Wells, Maine, in 2003 and he and Wendy and their families enjoyed seven seasons there.
John was predeceased by his sisters, Ruth and newborn Mary Agnus, and by his son, Bradford John. He is survived by his children Glenn, Carla, and Lex and their spouses. Also by 9 grandchildren: Tyler and Mitchell Pachico, Bradford and Baylee Furtaw, and Caitlyn, Kyle and Nathan Francis, and Jasselle and Kyra Wildanger. Also by his long-time companion, Wendy Rose, and her children Donna, Robert, and Richard and their families. John loved his and Wendy’s family and we all learned a lot of life’s lessons from him. He will be missed by many. Godspeed, Johnny.
His memorial service was held in the First Baptist Church on Wednesday, December 1, followed by burial in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Vineyard Haven, and a reception at the P-A Club.
Arrangements are by the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs. Please visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.