John Abbott Choo
January 1, 1927 – November 1, 2022
In the early morning hours on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, surrounded by his family, John Abbott Choo passed away peacefully at his residence in Citrus Heights, California, after a long battle with lung disease; he was 95 years old.
Born Hill John Choo on January 1, 1927, in Reedley, California, later baptized as John Abbott Choo after the Catholic Saint John, he was the third child born to Marie Abbott and Sam Choo. John was raised in Reedley, California, where he eventually met his future wife, Helen Villarreal. John and Helen would later marry on July 14, 1945, and subsequently moved to Susanville, California, where they remained for 64 years and raised 8 children. In March 2013, he and his wife relocated to and made their home in Citrus Heights, California.
John began his career in Susanville working in a lumber mill. That was interrupted when, at the age of 18, he was drafted into the Army prior to World War II ending. Upon discharge in 1946, he returned to work part-time at the lumber mill and eventually began a new job working full-time for Safeway as well. While working both jobs, John simultaneously built the home where he and Helen raised their family. He was extremely hard working and in order to provide for his growing family, John took on many side jobs which included paving, shoe repair, cleaning the Safeway parking lot, and working as an Amway Distributor.
As a child, John remembered his family receiving assistance from the county and vowed that he would do his best to pay it forward. John spent innumerable hours giving back to his community. He was a dedicated volunteer of the Salvation Army, spending countless hours coordinating food distribution, scheduling bell ringers, and many hours, himself, ringing the bell. At one point, the Susanville office was scheduled to close, however, John convinced the Salvation Army District Manager of Sacramento not to close the office and offered to work without pay.
John was an auxiliary volunteer at Banner Lassen Medical Center’s Gift Shop and volunteered for the Lassen/Modoc Food Bank distributing food. For Easter Seals, John raised the most money for the Northern District, and he and his wife Helen were invited to appear on the televised Easter Seals Telethon where he met Pat Boone. In 2004, John was chosen as Mr. Old Timer, Lassen County, for recognition of being a great asset to the community. He was an active member of the Catholic Church, the volunteer “Bingo” caller for over 30 years, and a member of the Knights of Columbus as a 3rd degree Knight and Treasurer.
In Citrus Heights, John became a volunteer at the Rusch Park Senior Center but had to step away due to health reasons.
John lived his life as a man of faith, honor, and integrity. He was a shining example of what it meant to be kind, generous, dedicated, and devoted to family. Always with a smile, his steadfast commitment and passion to help others will live on in the hearts of his family and friends. He was the heart and moral compass of his family and will be greatly missed, but the memories will forever be treasured.
John was such a proud dad and grandpa. If asked, he would have told you his family was a blessing and his greatest accomplishment. The grandchildren adored their Grandpa Choo; he loved entertaining them with making origami birds or challenging them with math games and card tricks. Spending time with family brought him so much joy.
John was preceded in death by his father Sam Choo, his mother Maria Abbott; son Anthony; brothers Jim Abbott; Joe, Gilbert, David, and Pedro Choo; and sisters; Anita, Minnie, and Josie.
John is survived by his wife of 77 years, Helen; his children John Jr. (Bonnie) Choo; Danny (Judy) Choo; Elaine (Robert) Robles; Gloria (Rick – deceased) Honea; Linda (Rob) Garcia; Carolyn (Richard) Weeks, Jr.; Veronica (Mark) Blankenship; Mary Ellen (Mark) Nielson; 22 grandchildren, 55 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great grandchildren. John is also survived by his sisters Mary Choo and Juanita Dunn; and brother Joe Giro.
On Thursday, January 26, 2023, a Rosary is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. at the Holy Family Catholic Church, 7817 Old Auburn Road, Citrus Heights, CA, 95610, followed by a Memorial Mass at 10:30 a.m. There will be a luncheon immediately after the mass at the Community Center adjacent to the church.
On Friday, January 27, 2023, interment will be held at 1:00 p.m. at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Road, Dixon, CA, 95620.
On behalf of the John Choo Family, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Snowline Hospice in Diamond Springs, CA, for their unwavering support, patience, compassion, and care for our Dad.