John Vierra Alves, 85, of San Jose, CA, died on November 30, 2023.
He was born João Vieira Alves in Santa Cruz, Madeira, Portugal in 1938 to Joaquim Vieira Alves and Maria Rosalina De Jesus Alves. Though he eventually Americanized his name to John, he was known as Johnny to those closest to him.
In 1956, Johnny emigrated from Portugal to the United States and settled in California’s Bay Area. He began working various jobs, including operating heavy machinery on ranches, building fences and installing and maintaining residential and commercial landscaping. In 1967, he began his career with Cupertino Union School District from which he retired in 2003 as an Equipment Operator.
Johnny met the love of his life, Maria Beatriz Gonçalves Luis, in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. Excited to start their new lives together, the two were legally married on March 3, 1973 in Funchal and again on June 2, 1973 at St. Catherine Church in Morgan Hill, CA.
Johnny adored children and he and Beatriz couldn’t wait to start a family of their own. In 1975, they welcomed their eldest daughter, Patricia. After trying to have another child for years with no luck, Johnny and Beatriz welcomed Beatriz’s sister Olivia, brother-in-law Antonio, niece Anna Paula and nephews Herberto and Marcio to their home in 1980. Little did they know that they would welcome their youngest daughter, Robina, in 1981 and another niece, Idalina, in 1982. Their home thrived on the love and laughter of ten family members until 1987 when the Farias moved into their own home just two doors down the street.
Johnny’s favorite role was that as grandfather. He was overjoyed to become a grandfather to Madeline in 2012 and Skylar in 2016. He treasured his time with his granddaughters and loved being their Avô, never failing to care for them and always willing to play whatever their hearts desired.
Johnny had a soft spot for his furry grandbabies too, treating each one like a valuable family member. Buddy, Oliver, Capone, Jasmine and Ronaldo will miss their Avozinho who never failed to care for them with all his heart.
Johnny was a devout Catholic and was an active member of Santa Teresa Church, devoting his time and energy to hospitality service during the 8:30 Sunday mass for many years until the pandemic in 2020. Afterward, he remained ever faithful, watching Santa Teresa’s mass via YouTube while caring for Beatriz at home.
Everyone who knew Johnny knew how much he loved to plant and maintain his extensive yard filled with fruit trees. His green thumb filled his house and many others with apples, oranges, lemons, figs, peaches, apricots, plums, avocados, passion fruit, loquats, grapes and olives.
He even added kale and beans for balance! Interspersed throughout the yard were the roses and orchids he cultivated because he knew Beatriz loved them.
Johnny made it a point to stay in contact with his family and friends. He visited and called his loved ones as often as possible. After finding his mother in Heaven, we are certain that he sought out his cousins Delores Vierra and Dolly Ginger whom he would speak to regularly and missed dearly. An avid San Francisco 49ers fan, we know that Johnny is also in the great company of his cousin Ed Franco as they continue to watch football together. We know he is again carpooling with his best friend Manuel DeFaria as he seeks out fresh doughnuts and hot coffee for them to share.
Johnny will always be remembered for his immense heart filled with love and devotion for his entire family. He was physically strong his whole life and his impeccable work ethic never wavered no matter what life threw his way. Even at 85 years old, he tended to his home and other properties in earnest. Digging, planting, weeding, raking, mowing, harvesting – there was nothing he wouldn’t do. We’ll always imagine hearing him say “I’m a lover not a fighter” and singing the old Alka Seltzer jingle – incorrectly and off key. We couldn’t have asked for a better husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, uncle, godfather, cousin, neighbor and friend and will miss Johnny every day. His memory, laughter and jokes will live on in the hearts of all those who loved him.
Johnny is survived by Beatriz Alves, his wife of 50 years; daughter Patricia Ferreira, son-in-law John Ferreira and granddaughter Madeline Ferreira; daughter Robina Oliveira, son-in-law Andre Oliveira and granddaughter Skylar Oliveira; niece Anna Paula Faria and her children Briana and Calvin; nephew Herberto Faria, niece Amber Faria and their children Jazlyn, Christian and Isabella; nephew Marcio Faria, niece Tasia Faria and their children Zelda and Enzo; niece Idalina Martinho, nephew Joseph Martinho, their children Nicholas, Josie, Alyssa, Jacob and Jordyn, and their grandsons Vincent and Christopher; and countless additional nieces, nephews, godchildren, cousins, neighbors and friends.
A visitation for Johnny will be held on Wednesday, December 20, 2023 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Lima Family Santa Clara Mortuary, 466 North Winchester Boulevard, Santa Clara, CA 95050. A rosary will occur on Wednesday, December 20, 2023 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Lima Family Santa Clara Mortuary. In lieu of donations, Johnny would want you to spend time with your loved ones, laughing and enjoying being together.