James C. Veretto

July 15, 1926July 9, 2018

James Columbus "Jake" Veretto was born on July 15th, 1926 in Montague, Texas. He passed away on Monday, July 9th, 2018 in Yuma, Arizona.

He leaves his wife of 58 years Jean Spencer Veretto, children; Karen Jones, Charles Veretto, Denise Davis, 6 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren.

Services will be at Johnson Mortuary, 1415 S 1st Avenue. Viewing will be on Friday evening , July 13th, 7-9 pm. Funeral Service will be on Saturday, July 14th, at 10:00 am with Graveside immediately following in the Garden of Devotion at Desert Lawn Memorial Park, Yuma, Arizona.


  • Jean Spencer Veretto of Yuma, AZ, Wife of 58 years
  • Karen Jones, Daughter
  • Charles Veretto, Son
  • Denise Davis, Daughter
  • Ernest T. Veretto, Father
  • Susie Ricca, Mother
  • Jack leaves behind 6 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren to cherish his memory


  • Visitation Friday, July 13, 2018
  • Scripture Service Saturday, July 14, 2018

James C. Veretto

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Denise Davis

July 15, 2018

prison in Paris, set people free who were only there for stealing bread to feed their families, during a famine, that couldn’t hold a candle to our “Great Depression”, by the way (they were eating tree bark to survive and rats if they found one) or their unsupported political or religious beliefs; so, it is fitting that we would do the same for my dad, by putting his shell back in the ground to decay and fertilize the earth. A man who has a French last name, with “verre” as a suffix which means glass in French, so at one point they were probable glass makers, his grandmother’s bible that I am proudly in possession of, is of course in French, is finally being set free from doubt. Which brings me back to the picture that my father in law painted for me about dad picking out the best place for his garden…” It was enough dad I’m sure of it and Aunt Rosie, Aunt Lee, your brother and friend who you lost to WWII that you didn’t get enough time with, your mom and your dad, they are all there with you behind the veil, where all is perfect and understood. You’re free of this world’s man made prisons and you know finally for yourself that it was good enough!”

Denise Davis

July 15, 2018

I would play under the record displays while he tested out which ones he was going to buy to call the weekly dances. He loved the fact that he was Italian. This was so important to him that when he and my mom came to pick me up, in Holbrook where I was born, he had three babies to choose from, I was the only Italian baby, so, lucky me, I was chosen. It took me almost 30 years to earn my bachelor’s degree in history, not any history, French history. In high school French was my language of choice and dad was always asking why French why not Italian? You ARE Italian. “I don’t know dad, I just love the French culture.” We went to Italy to see where his mother and father’s people came from, north western Italy, once named Savoy, a French territory. We were fortunate enough to go to his mother’s church and were blessed because there was an all-boys choir singing, I looked at him and he had tears rolling down his face as he listened to their beautiful voices. Later outside the church he said, “I don’t think I’m going to go to heaven.” I immediately said to him, “Dad are you kidding me? All over the bible new and old it talks about caring for the widow and orphan and how important this is. You took care of my mom, who I consider a widow, adopted my brother and I, not to mention the cousins, my aunt and complete strangers you have fed through your volunteer work at the food bank of Yuma, and because you obviously believe. That’s more than enough dad.” In his last days, he kept demanding that we take him to school or church, this weighed heavy on my mind knowing what he told me outside of his mother’s church in Italy. I could not get this out of my thoughts. I thought, maybe if we have a priest visit him, maybe this would put him at peace. I found my natural father and learned I was indeed French, and one of my relatives took in orphans from the French Revolution, which makes today being the 14th of July, “Bastille Day”, the day that the French citizens broke into the

Denise Davis

July 15, 2018

I was fishing when I learned of my dad’s passing. My father in law said, Jake is picking out the best place to plant his garden right now; where to plant the tomatoes and cantaloupe for sure. That is exactly what I want to believe that my dad is doing, because that would-be heaven to my dad. He was always bigger than life to me even though he was short in actual stature. His moniker would have to be PERSEVERANCE. He lived in Dallas’ Texas Children’s hospital for the first 2 years of his life because of complications at birth. He didn’t know what a doorknob was until he got back home to the farm. He plowed fields with Toby and Jude his mules. He survived the depression on “burnt toast coffee” and sweet potatoes. He only completed the 8th grade because he was needed to work in the field with his dad. In 1945, he lost his big brother and friend to WWII in Germany. He hitch hiked from the small town of Montegue, TX, all the way to Arizona because his brother in laws, or cuñado as he called them, were already working for the Southern Pacific Railroad. He eventually retired after building many lines of track and railroad yards including, Englewood Yards in Houston, Texas. Dad treated his fellow workers with common decency, earning their respect by learning their languages and they returned his kindness with a steady supply of fresh tortillas. He adopted my brother and I and bought a tombstone to place on the insufficiently marked grave, of my mother’s baby girl from a previous marriage. He taught us to play baseball and he coached our teams. He took us to Texas every August to the Veretto Family Reunion where two west coast kids learned what it was like to live Texas farm life. He taught me to ride a bike like a pro an activity that I still enjoy today. He could weld and built me a life size play house out of tin. We camped in the mountains with the B Low C square dance club every weekend in the summer, driving to San Diego on Saturday’s to buy his calling records.