In Memory

Drew Johnese - Class Of 1969

Drew Johnese
Sept. 3, 1951 - Nov. 10, 2016
Hayward
Drew Edward Johnese died at home unexpectedly on November 10, 2016. Drew was born at Peralta Hospital in Oakland, California to Lucas B. (John) Johnese and Virginia Lee Johnese, Nee Cox, on September 3, 1951. He had two older brothers; Daniel and Randall (Randy) and was followed by a younger brother, Larry. Drew attended John Muir Elementary School in Hayward, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in San Leandro, John Muir Junior High School in San Leandro, where he met his future partner Charlotte Williams, and Pacific High School in San Leandro. He graduated from San Lorenzo High School in San Lorenzo and went on to attend Laney Community College in Oakland and Chabot Community College in Hayward where he received an Associate of Arts Degree in Photography.
Shortly after leaving College, Drew relocated to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. There he apprenticed with his father's plumbing company and, ultimately started his own plumbing company. He also taught Plumbing Science at Lane Community College.
Following the economic downturn of 1979-80, Drew gave up his plumbing business and returned to California. He worked for Alameda County and the City of San Ramon as a Building Inspector. In 1987, Drew again relocated to Southern California to take a job with the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials where he worked on editing the Plumbing and Mechanical Code. In 1990, Drew returned to Northern California and took a job with the City of Fremont as a Building Inspector. He was later promoted to a position with the Fremont Fire Department as an Hazardous Materials Technician. Drew also had a consulting business the Safety Guy which provided training to businesses in safety preparedness including the proper maintenance and handling of hazardous substances. Drew retired from the Fremont Fire Department after a disabling accident in 2005.
Drew had many interests. He was a talented singer, guitarist and songwriter and performed with several musical groups including The Mysterians, The Fellowship of the Rings, The Sagebrush Brothers and the Big Dog Band. He continued to play and sing in to his retirement. He also made custom guitars which he labeled Uncle John's Custom and which he generally gave to lucky musicians. Drew also had a life long love of writing which generally took the form of short stories or essays but after retirement he went for the long form and wrote two novels. Both, unfortunately, went unpublished but are well worth reading none the less. Also, after retirement, Drew took to travel with his partner, Charlotte Williams. He loved to plan independent explorations of cities such as Paris, Rome and London. He had just returned from China shortly before his death.
Drew's favorite pastime though was golf. He wasn't great but he was avid and he loved to help others learn the game. Even as he fought with cancer, he continued to play golf. The Sunday before his death he played a foursome and he was at the top of his game posting the lowest score of the foursome. He had a great day! 
Drew is survived by his partner, Charlotte Williams, his brothers Daniel, Randy and Larry, best friend of 30 years, Bill Craven, and too many other family and friends to name.
A memorial meeting and celebration of Drew's life will be held on January 7, 2017, in Hayward. Those wishing to attend or send flowers/messages should RSVP to drewslifecelebration@gmail.com.
Donations in Drew's memory may be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center, National Public Radio or the Cancer Society .


View the online memorial for Drew Johnese

Published in East Bay Times on Nov. 25, 2016- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/eastbaytimes/obituary.aspx?n=drew-johnese&pid=182699677#sthash.4MUiadCi.dpuf



 
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11/13/16 10:24 AM #1    

Scott Camp (1969)

Sorry to hear about Drew's passing. We went way back to Woodrow Wilson.

Drew was a good guy. Gone but not forgotten.

Scott Camp

 

 

 


11/15/16 11:10 AM #2    

Larry Johnese (1971)

Drew was one of my closest friends, and my big brother. He made more than a few life-long friends in the classrooms, hallways and parking lot at Pacific High. One of his wild adventures off-campus led to his being forced out of Pacific before I got a chance to attend PHS with him. But, he never dropped out of school, he never stopped learning. He continued his education, professionally and personally, for the rest of his life. He earned an AA in photography, became a journeyman plumber and went on to join and work for one of the national orgaizations that develop and write building codes. He became a building inspector in Alameda county, and, from there earned and worked his way into the Fremont Fire Department as a Hazardous Marterials Inspector. He was widely respected around the region and state for his knowledge, insight and abilities in his field.

Drew was always curious and active--photography, salt water fishing and boating, SCUBA diving, travelling to Europe and China. He was working on his Hayward hills home, as well as Charlotte's home in Livermore, and was always there to help neighbors and friends with their projects. Drew loved music. He played guitar and sang all his life. He even made a few custom electric guitars in a shed/garage shop he set up. After he retired, he wrote two novels (the first, a political thriller set in the Bay Area, and the second, a delightful magical-realism type novel titled "The Rose Letter".)  Neither of them were published, but both are worth reading. He also authored a technical manual for hazardous materials management. But Drew's best loved activity these last years has been golf. He loved the game, and he loved introducing the game to new players. He was a wonderful teacher with a great ability to help you see what he saw in your golfing, as a way to improve your game.

I miss him terribly already. Family and friends are planning to celebrate Drew's life soon, probably in January. If anyone is interested in details, please email me at lfjohnese@gmail.com.

 

 


11/20/16 05:43 PM #3    

Randall Johnese (1968)

In Memorium

Drew Edward Johnese

Drew Edward Johnese died at home unexpectedly on November 10, 2016. Drew was born at Peralta Hospital in Oakland, California to Lucas B. (John) Johnese and Virginia Lee Johnese, Nee Cox, on September 3, 1951. He had two older brothers; Daniel and Randall (Randy) and was followed by a younger brother, Larry. Drew attended John Muir Elementary School in Hayward, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in San Leandro, John Muir Junior High School in San Leandro, where he met his future partner Charlotte Williams, and Pacific High School in San Leandro. He graduated from San Lorenzo High School in San Lorenzo and went on to attend Laney Community College in Oakland and Chabot Community College in Hayward where he received an Associate of Arts Degree in Photography.

Shortly after leaving College, Drew relocated to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. There he apprenticed with his father’s plumbing company and, ultimately started his own plumbing company. He also taught Plumbing Science at Lane Community College.

Following the economic downturn of 1979-80, Drew gave up his plumbing business and returned to California. He worked for Alameda County and the City of San Ramon as a Building Inspector. In 1987, Drew again relocated to Southern California to take a job with the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials where he worked on editing the Plumbing and Mechanical Code. In 1990, Drew returned to Northern California and took a job with the City of Fremont as a Building Inspector. He was later promoted to a position with the Fremont Fire Department as an Hazardous Materials Technician. Drew also had a consulting business the Safety Guy which provided training to businesses in safety preparedness including the proper maintenance and handling of hazardous substances. Drew retired from the Fremont Fire Department after a disabling accident in 2005.

Drew had many interests. He was a talented singer, guitarist and songwriter and performed with several musical groups including The Mysterians, The Fellowship of the Rings, The Sagebrush Brothers and the Big Dog Band. He continued to play and sing in to his retirement. He also made custom guitars which he labeled Uncle John’s Custom and which he generally gave to lucky musicians. Drew also had a life long love of writing which generally took the form of short stories or essays but after retirement he went for the long form and wrote two novels. Both, unfortunately, went unpublished but are well worth reading none the less. Also, after retirement, Drew took to travel with his partner, Charlotte Williams. He loved to plan independent explorations of cities such as Paris, Rome and London. He had just returned from China shortly before his death.

Drew’s favorite pastime though was golf. He wasn’t great but he was avid and he loved to help others learn the game. Even as he fought with cancer, he continued to play golf. The Sunday before his death he played a foursome and he was at the top of his game posting the lowest score of the foursome. He had a great day!

Drew is survived by his partner, Charlotte Williams, his brothers Daniel, Randy and Larry, best friend of 30 years, Bill Craven, and too many other family and friends to name.

A memorial to Drew Johnese will be celebrated on January 7, 2017, at the Mission Hills Golf Course Restaurant (275 Industrial Parkway, Hayward, CA 94544) from 3 to 6 pm. RSVP to: randyjohnese@mac.com In lieu of flowers please send donations in Drew’s memory to the Southern Poverty Law Center, National Public Radio or the Cancer Society. 


11/22/16 05:25 PM #4    

Larry Johnese (1971)

 

Online memorial page for Drew Johnese:

http://www.lastingmemories.com/memorial/drew-edward-johnese

 


11/22/16 06:49 PM #5    

Vincent Acosta (1967)

Drew REST IN PEACE


11/25/16 01:32 PM #6    

Charlotte Williams (1969)

Dear classmates and friends,

As you know from Drew's brother's post Drew passed away Thursday (11/10). Drew and I had a wonderful life together. We have been living together for a long time.

We traveled the world together the last seven years. This year we went to San Diego, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai. He was the perfect tour guide; always knowing which Metro line to catch to go wherever. His abilities in the area mimicked other things he did in his life. He never ceased to amaze me. My son, Remington, said to me one day "Mom, is there anything Drew doesn't know how to do?"

Drew treated me like an absolute princess and I will never forget the love he poured over me. He was the most intelligent man I have ever known. I miss him terribly but I know he will never be forgotten. He touched the lives of many people and was always helping someone with something, never expecting anything in return. My adorable man is now at peace and hopefully watching over my golf game. He taught me to golf. Every Sunday we met with friends to play golf. It was a wonderful life!

Charlotte P Williams


11/30/16 12:59 PM #7    

Julie Garcia (Mackenzie) (1968)

James and I were so very sad to learn today of Drew’s passing.  We both have many fond memories of Drew during his time at Pacific High and during his youth during the turbulent but fun 60’s.  We are cheered to hear of his personally rewarding career and of the exciting & interesting life he shared with his life partner Charlotte.  We send are heartfelt condolences to Charlotte, Dan, Randy, Larry and all their clan.

Peace & blessings


12/01/16 12:44 AM #8    

Bill Statler (1969)

I was deeply saddened to hear of Drew’s passing.  I first met Drew as an 8th grader at John Muir Junior High School.  Drew was one of the smartest, most insightful and funniest guys I’ve ever known.  I only touched base with Drew twice at high school reunions after leaving Pacific HS, but he was frequently in my thoughts, since he was such a big part of my formative, 1960s’ years. 

Some pundit once noted that if you remember the 60’s, you weren’t there.  :)  However, I do remember them … mostly fondly! And I experienced several “firsts” with Drew (at least “firsts” for me) - along with a merry band of other San Leandro pranksters, including Gary Wilcoxen and Bruce Kane – at several iconic locations, like the Panhandle in Golden Gate Park and Pomponio Beach.  In looking back, there was an occasion where Drew commented on my behavior, with his typical wit, that had a profound (and positive) impact on my life’s course.   

And how cool that Drew and Charlotte found each other later in life, especially when I think back on how our lives crossed from 2nd grade at Garfield Elementary through Pacific High School.  

And yes: I remember the Mysterians and the Fellowship of the Ring.  Below is a picture of Drew and Tom Brody, I think as rehearsing as part the Fellowhip of the Ring in Drew's garage (courtesy of Tom's Yelp review of John Muir Junior High School).

So, while there's sadness when I think of Drew's passing, thinking him also brings a smile as I remember our friendship and adventures at very interesting time.

My deepest condolences to Charlotte and his family. My thoughts are with you in this sad time.

- Bill       

 


12/31/16 06:41 PM #9    

Tom Brody (1969)

Good-bye, Drew.  Thank you letting me be in your band, in the years 1966-1969. It was great fun assisting you with our repertoire of about 75 songs. (I am sorry that I was not a better guitar player.)  Thank you for showing me your large format 4X5 camera, in the year 1990. Since that time, I bought my own large format 4X5 camera, and have had 1-man exhibitions of landscape photography from Death Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, California Coastline, and waterfalls in Hawaii.  It was nice connecting with you again, in early 2009, at your birthday-party supper with your brothers at your favorite Italian restaurant in Castro Valley.  Everybody knows that you are a gentleman, and have a gentle disposition.  So many people love you. Yesterday, Jan. 7, 2017, I attended a meeting that was held in Drew's honor.  The meeting was at the cafe at Mission Hills Golf Course in Hayward, CA.  I counted about 60 people.  An exhibit of many objects was on a long table by the south wall, and the objects included a hand-made electric guitar that Drew had completed. It was a perfect replica of a Fender bass guitar.  Also on display, was a partially assembled hand-made electric guitar.  Some of Drew's business cards from his hazardous materials (hazmat) occupation were on display, as were soft-cover bound compilations of fiction from his earlier days at Chabot College.  The compilations included some of Drew's stories. Also on display was a marble and metal trophy, which was awarded to Drew's rock'n'roll group, Fellowship of the Ring.  It must be added, that Drew's band performed at dozens of locations, including Rollarena on East 14th Street, Pacific High School, John Muir High School, San Leandro High School, Weeks Park in Hayward, Bayfair Mall, and so on.  At the center of the cafe were about 50 chairs, and behind these were more chairs situated around circular dinner tables.  In front, was a flat screen television with a continuous "slide show" that displayed a generous selection of photographs dating from the mid-1950s until the summer of 2016. Speeches were given by a few people.  Some of the more unusual and amusing anecdotes came from a talk about one of Drew's visits to Europe with. If I recall correctly, somebody in Hungary had confused Drew with James Bond.  Another talk was devoted, in part, to the care that Drew gave to his mother during her time of most need. Best regards, Tom Brody

 

 


02/11/17 10:16 PM #10    

Tom Brody (1969)

This is a photograph of Drew and his rock'n'roll band.  Drew and his brother Randy were co-leaders of the band.  The boys that you see here played bass guitar, drums, rhythm guitar, electric organ, and bass guitar.  The band only used Gibson and Fender electric guitars (nothing but the best).


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