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John Mitchell Lopina
A funeral service was held Thursday at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Modesto for John Mitchell Lopina, 77, of Hughson. He died Aug. 29, 2010 at his home after battling pancreatic cancer.

The McHenry Chapel of Franklin & Downs was in charge of arrangements.

Born Jan. 31, 1933 in San Jose, John was the youngest son of Anton and Clara Lopina. He grew up on the family ranch helping with farming even as a young child. He graduated from Campbell High School in 1951 and served in the Navy from 1952 to 1956. He returned to the ranch where he worked and lived until marrying Janice Hanschimidt on January 28, 1967. They moved to Stanislaus County in 1970, where they raised their family. He continued farming apricots and prunes for more than 30 years. Mr. Lopina was proud of his Croatian heritage and an active member of the Slavonian American Benevolent Society, American Slavonians, and the Patterson Lions Club. He enjoyed teaching his children and grandchildren how to speak Croatian. John was a faithful parishioner of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church since the 1970s. In the last few years he also attended St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Hughson.

He leaves behind his sister, Maryann Skitarelic of Orinda; his children, Cynthia Houghton of Modesto, Mitchell Lopina of Waterford, and Cheryl Lopina of Turlock; and nine grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Anthony Lopina and his beloved wife of nearly 35 years, Janice Lopina.

Remembrances may be sent to St. Stanislaus Catholic Church Building Fund, 709 J St., Modesto, CA 95354.

-Ceres Courier/ September 8, 2010