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16 May


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BRI Icon passes away at 69

May 16, 2017 | By | No Comments

John Arthur Shoden, 69, of Modesto passed away last Wednesday morning in his home unexpectantly of natural causes. For the past 45 years, he had worked for Basic Resources, Inc., and the Reed Family. He was Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Financial Officer for over the past twenty years having started as an accounting clerk at their George Reed Company in 1969. He was President of Aggregates Inc. and Secretary/Treasurer of Reed International and 7-11 Materials.

John was born in Virginia, Minnesota on September 24th,1947 to John and Jane (Hendrickson) Shoden. He grew up in Virginia, MN with his parents, four sisters and four brothers and attended Virginia High School and later Indiana Business College. He migrated out to California at the age of 19 to complete his education. He worked as a short order cook for a brief time where he fell in love with cooking. He was first exposed to the construction industry as an accounting clerk for Holt Bros, the Caterpillar Dealer in Stockton, CA. He joined George Reed and Basic Resources in 1972 and was their oldest employee in longevity.

John was an incredible gardener who kept an immaculate yard with ponds and waterfalls he built himself. He raised vegetables and was very proud of his summer tomatoes and zucchini that made their way into all his Bar-B-Ques. He was an incredible cook and BBQ Master Chef but it was always a late-night affair with his first course no earlier than 9 pm and the final course sometimes after midnight. It was an honor to join him for a home dinner but it took stamina to keep up.

John was an avid boater and water-skier and was on his fourth boat having worn out three before. No one put more hours yearly in boating and water-skiing. Every weekend he and lucky friends would be out in the Delta or local reservoirs. He was still single skiing and had just been prepping his boat to be on the Delta the weekend past. He was a photographer and loved to share his Delta photos and others that he took.

He was passionate about wine. From a beginning introduction to white wines and waterskiing 45 years ago he had migrated to a sommelier’s palate for aged reds, particularly California Zinfandels. His home wine tastings were the stuff of legend with never a bottle under ten years from his own impressive wine cellar. He relished confusing guests in blind tastings.

John recently took up backyard beekeeping with the same obsession he had in all endeavors and loved to share his bottled honey with friends.

Every July/August he would either fly or marathon drive back to Virginia, MN for vacation to be with his mother and family he loved so much.

John Arthur Shoden was preceded in death by his father, John Shoden of Virginia, MN and his brother Richard Shoden of Oakland, CA., Paul Sleeman, brother -in-law of Virginia, MN, Arthur and Mabel Hendrickson (maternal grandparents) and John and Wilma Kovero (paternal grandparents) also of Virginia, MN. He is survived by his mother Jane Shoden, his brothers Ron Shoden (Sandi), Steve Shoden and Darrell Shoden, sisters Diane Carlson (Dan); Pat Sleeman; Cheryl Aluni (Craig); and Debbie Carpenter (Terry); all from Virginia, MN., along with fifteen nieces and nephews and twenty-three great nieces and nephews.

Visitation and Eulogy will take place Thursday May 18th, 2017 at Franklin and Downs Funeral Home, 1050 McHenry Avenue, Modesto, CA 4-6pm with a reception following. Funeral will be private with family in Virginia, MN.

In lieu of flowers, remembrance contributions would be appreciated to:

Olcott Park Fountain Restoration Project

Virginia Community Foundation; 519 Chestnut Street, Virginia, MN 55792

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