euskal diaspora eta kultura


John Barinaga

John Barinaga
John Barinaga

2017/04/14 - Sonoma, CA, AEB

(1925 - 2017)

(Hona The Daily Gazette Co. & apirilaren 20an ingelesez argitara emaniko hil-oharra)

John Barinaga, age 91, passed away peacefully on April 14th at his home in Sonoma, CA.

He is survived by his loving daughter, Marcia Barinaga, and son-in-law, Corey Goodman, of Marshall, CA.

John was born in Mountain Home in 1925, to Valentin and Eulalia Barinaga, Basque immigrants. As a teenager, John worked summers as a camptender for his father's sheep operation. John received a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Idaho, and took a job with General Electric in Schenectady. There he met his wife, Stephanie; they married in 1951. John's 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, Virginia.

Throughout his career, John's 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, relationships 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, 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, CA. John studied oenology and viticulture, planted a vineyard, and became a passionate home winemaker. His wines won many awards, and he trained a next generation of winemakers.

For most of the 32 years he lived in Sonoma, John could be seen every morning just after daybreak, taking his daily 4-mile walk. In his final years, John nursed Stephanie through a long illness until her death at home in November of 2015.

After seven years of chemotherapy for myelodysplasia, John's health declined rapidly in the past year, and he died at home.

A private interment will be held. A celebration of John's 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 24th at 2 p.m.


(Published on Apr. 20, 2017 in The Daily Gazette Co. &


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