Dr. John (Jack) C. Ciardelli, Jr. DDS passed away comfortably on May 2, 2017 at his home in San Rafael, CA after a brief illness. He was 88 years old. It was a great blessing to have all his children and many of his grandchildren with him during his final weeks. Jack was born in Phillipsburg, NJ on February 12, 1929 to John C. Ciardelli, Sr., owner of accounting, real estate and insurance agencies, and Margaret (Claire) Zehnder. He was a child during the Great Depression.
Jack attended Phillipsburg High School, class of 1946. His first college education was at Lafayette College in Easton, PA where he obtained a BS in Chemical Engineering and graduated Summa Cum Laude, class of 1950. While there he was a member of Alpha Chi Rho social fraternity and was elected to the honorary societies Phi Beta Kappa (scholastic) and Tau Beta Pi (engineering).
Early in his career he was employed by American Cyanamid Co., working at Oak Ridge, TN, for the Polaris Space program in Idaho Falls, ID, Chicago, IL, New Orleans and New York City. He then served briefly in the Armed Forces stationed at Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, NJ and was honorably discharged in 1957. It was while working in Idaho Falls that Jack met his first wife Kathleen Lilian Thiel, where they married in 1953.
Jack and Kathleen have five children, ten grandchildren, including two in New Zealand, and two great-grandchildren.
Several more career moves in the field of chemical engineering required Jack to move his family to Sacramento, CA, Salt Lake City, UT, and ultimately Riverside, CA, where Jack and Kathleen were divorced in 1973.
Jack decided to re-educate and attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, until being accepted at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School where he obtained his Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 1976. He had a dental practice for many years in Daly City and retired in 1996. Jack maintained a second home in Park City, UT where he enjoyed skiing - until being sidelined with a hip replacement.
For over 20 years, Jack volunteered every January at the Sundance Film Festival, working mostly at the Filmmakers’ Lodge. He also volunteered as President of the Cal Singles and Walnut Creek Manor residents, and served on the Board of the Goldenaires in San Rafael.
Jack met his second wife, Joanie Misrack, in March of 2004 on a Cal Singles trip to Costa Rica, and they married four years later on 8-8-08. He and Joanie enjoyed travel, both in the U.S. and abroad, playing bridge, tinkering on their houses, loving their kitty Princess Jasmine, keeping up on current events, listening to and playing music, singing with the Chorus on Elm Avenue, especially Dixieland jazz (attending the Sacramento Dixieland Jazz Festival every Memorial Day), and folk, contra and ballroom dancing. He continued to be active with the Cal Singles, often finding time to visit his children and grandchildren. One of Jack’s favorite pastimes in recent years was playing the ukulele with the UFOhana.
He was preceded in death by his father John Sr., mother Claire, brother James; and he is survived by his children John (Jack) C. Ciardelli, III (Kathy), Carolle Van Sande (Greg), Lisa Ciardelli White (Bruce), Paula Salazar (Tony), Gina Kelman, and his wife Joanie. Grandchildren include: Josh Ciardelli, Emma Ciardelli, Adam Ciardelli, Lenci Bakey (David), Lauren Rasmussen (Greg), Naomi Higgins, Hannah Higgins, Savannah Ciardelli-Mullis, Isaac Kelman and Wren Kelman and great-grandchildren William and Benjamin Bakey.
Traditional Gaelic Blessing (anonymous)
May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be at your back
May the sun shine down upon your face
And clear away your track.
May the rain fall soft upon your field
Until we meet again
May the good Lord always hold you in the palm of his hand.
And… I pass it on to you my friend.