born in the north San Diego County area, with dirt in his veins. He often said all he ever wanted to
do was be a flower grower and would have done it for free, but was so grateful that he was able to
make a living doing what he loved.
John was a hard worker from the get-go, caring for chickens and selling home grown vegetables to
neighbors out of his wagon. He learned to drive a tractor at age 5, standing to reach the pedals. He
had a paper route from his earliest opportunity and befriended all of the neighbors on his route.
Growing up in South Oceanside, John was in the first group of kids to attend South Oceanside
Elementary School. He had a very close relationship with his grandfather, Frank ‘Pa’ Frazee, who
lived a block over. The flower business was headquartered at Pa’s house so John spent a lot of time
there. They also spent time dove hunting in the Imperial Valley, fishing in the Eastern Sierra, and
relaxing at the family cabin at Tom’s Place.
When he was 14, John was allowed to farm an unused block of flowers and keep the proceeds,
which enabled him to purchase his first car and buy his sweetheart Dianne an engagement ring,
both while still in high school.
John and Dianne first had their eyes on each other when they were freshman at Oceanside Carlsbad High School, but Dianne lived in the Carlsbad school district, and when Carlsbad High
School opened in 1957, she attended there. As fate would have it, her parents built a home in
Oceanside, so she moved back to Oceanside High School for her senior year. Their first date was to
the Winter Formal on Dianne’s birthday, December 13. Before they graduated the next June, they
were engaged, and have been a team ever since. Dianne is also a 3rd generation native, a descendant
of both the Borden and Kelly families. In 1965, they built a home in Carlsbad on an acre of land
passed down from Dianne’s family. The property is part of the Rancho Agua Hedionda land grant,
and is today one of the few remaining family-owned and occupied parcels of the Rancho. John and
Dianne loved to host family and friends for gatherings large and small, and he was always working
to make his home a welcoming place for all to enjoy.
John continued to work in the flower and bulb business when the warehouse was built on
Oceanside Blvd in 1958, where he enjoyed working with friends and family. He delivered flowers
up to the Los Angeles Flower Market three times a week for years, and drove to deliver seed and
pick up bulbs and cut flowers all across Southern California, from Ponto to Camp Pendleton, and
Rancho California to the Salton Sea.
He joined the Rotary Club in 1967 and embodied the Rotary motto of “service above self.” He had a
perfect attendance record for over 20 years, attending other clubs’ meetings on weeks when he was
out of town. He also supported numerous other organizations, including the Oceanside and
Carlsbad Boys and Girls Clubs, the Armed Services YMCA, Heritage Park, Carlsbad Bobby Sox, and
Brother Benno, always serving humbly behind the scenes. He was always the last to leave every
gathering or event, because he stayed to clean up and leave the venue “better than he found it.”
John was close to his father-in-law, Emmett Cilley, who wanted a Model A Ford after driving one in
high school. In 1975, John and Dianne intended to surprise Emmett with one as a retirement
project. John’s brother, Harley, identified one for sale in the Los Osos area, and John and Dianne
towed it down the California coast to give as a gift. But as the story goes, by the time they got home
they had so fallen in love with that cute little car in the rearview mirror that they couldn’t help but
keep it. Emmett soon found one of his own, and they restored them together. Those were the first
of many cars that they restored and drove, always enjoying the smiles and joy they brought to
others as they passed by.
John and Emmett first attended a Palomar Model A Club meeting in January 1976. Smitten with
the hobby but especially the people, they immediately joined the club. John was tour leader the
next year and club president the year after that. His enthusiasm for the hobby was infectious, and
soon the club membership swelled by almost two dozen family and friends! The friends traveled
together across the U.S.A. and the world, even shipping their A’s to Hawaii and Australia. With
Dianne as his faithful co-pilot, the couple logged some 250,000 Model A miles together.
Everywhere he went he hoped to spread his love for A’s and especially for the people who they
John ran for the board of the national Model A Ford Club of America in 2002 as a way to give back
to the hobby, but he ended up gaining even more. The friends he made as membership director,
vice president, and then president, have been as close to him as family. He continued to be
involved at the national level and attended regional and national meets all over the country. John’s
shop and “parts house” were open to anyone who wanted to restore or just get a look at a Model A.
John went to be with the Lord on January 25, 2022, survived by Dianne, daughter Lisa, son David
(Karyn), grandchildren Andy (Kelsey) and Alyssa Morgosh, Fernando, Jose and Diego Frazee, and
great-grandchildren Bodie and Boone Morgosh, brothers Jim (Jan) and Harley (MaryLou), and too
many close friends to count. John often said he was so grateful to have lived such a full life,
enjoying family, friends, travel and fulfilling hobbies. His loving, gracious, and welcoming spirit is
greatly missed by friends and family far and wide. A celebration of his life will be held Saturday,
March 12, 2022 at 11:00 at North Coast Calvary Chapel in Carlsbad