John Barinaga

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

John Barinaga, 91, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 14, 2017, at his home in Sonoma, Calif. He is survived by his loving daughter, Marcia Barinaga and son-in-law, Corey Goodman of Marshall, Calif.; and by his sister-in-law, Marilyn Barinaga of Castelford.

John was born in Mountain Home in 1925 to Valentin and Eulalia Barinaga ó Basque immigrants who met in Idaho. He graduated from Castleford High School.

As a teenager, John worked summers as a camptender for his fatherís sheep operation. John received a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Idaho and took a job with General Electric in Schenectady, N.Y.

There, he met his wife, Stephanie. They married in 1951. Johnís work for GE took them to Manhattan and then to Caracas, Venezuela.

They returned to Schenectady in 1955 where Marcia was born, and in 1974, they moved to Roanoke Va.

Throughout his career, Johnís work in drive systems for steel rolling mills took him frequently on business to the Basque country to work with the steel rolling mills in Bilbao. This enabled him to form close relationships with his family in the Basque country ó relationships that he cherished throughout his life.

John took up backpacking in his '50s and hiked for many summers in the mountains of Idaho and Nevada with his daughter, nieces and nephews and his dog, Oliver. He would tell stories of growing up on the ranch and created many new memories with the next generations.

Upon retiring in 1985, John and Stephanie moved to Sonoma, where they lived in the Diamond A Ranch. John studied oenology and viticulture, planted a vineyard and became a passionate home winemaker. His wines won many awards, and he trained several of his neighbors in winemaking.

For most of the 32 years he lived in the Diamond A, John could be seen every morning just after daybreak, taking his daily four-mile walk. In his final years, John nursed Stephanie through a long illness until her death at home in November 2015.

After seven years of chemotherapy for myelodysplasia, Johnís health declined rapidly in the past year, and he died at home. A private interment will be held.

A celebration of Johnís life will be held for all who knew and loved John at the Diamond A Recreation Center at 18843 Spring Drive in Sonoma on Saturday, June 24, at 2 p.m.