John Andrew Traverso

Born 05 Feb 1902 in San Francisco, California

Died 17 Feb 1989 in San Mateo, California

Married Evelyn Louise Parker on 05 Nov 1925 in San Francisco, California; born 09 Aug 1904 in Portland Oregon; died 07 Feb 1984 in San Mateo, California

Daughter, Jaclyn Louise Traverso

At a very young age, Jack began working in the family's boarding house/bar helping by cleaning the spittoons, polishing the brass foot rests, and polishing mirrors. He was given 50 cents on Saturdays for his work.

As did his brothers, Jack attended Lowell High School. While still in high school, Jack continued to help with the family business by keeping up the books. Slowly, bookkeeping wasn't the only help Jack provided. When Vic took over the grocery, Jack found himself more involved in the business; and although attending law school following high school, Jack decided to come into the business full time at the encouragement of Vic. He gave up his dream of becoming an attorney, like is big brother Bill.

Traverso Archives | Jack third from left

Beginning in the 1930's, the three brothers would meet for weekly conferences to discuss family affairs. When Vittorio died in 1933, Bill managed the property for a time then assigned the management to Jack in about 1950. They established a pact among themselves that if anything should happen to any of the brothers, the others would make sure the remaining widows did not suffer.

Traverso Archives

Founded in 1928 with the purpose of promoting goodwill and relationships within the grocery industry, The Illuminators has continued to grow and to make a significant difference in people’s lives and careers. Our great heritage includes tremendous and meaningful service to our industry, and is also highlighted by our members being among the “Who’s Who” of the grocery business.

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After Victor's death, Jack took over complete operation in 1958. In 1964, based on advice from his doctor, Jack retired from the wholesale grocery business. At that time the business was doing $5 million a year (value of $39,439,354.84 in 2017). The business was liquidated. The building was converted into 36,000 square feet office space at $1.8 million. The building is still owned by a family and is operated as "Traverso Brothers LLC."

Jack moved his family to San Mateo in June 1942. At that time, this was a rural community which was on the brink of expansion. He paid $8,600 cash for his house in the Aragon Estates.

Traverso Archives

Traverso Archives | Jack's War Ration Book 1942

Traverso Archives | Jack's War Ration Book 1942

Traverso Archives | Jack's Gas Ration Card 1943-1944

Traverso Archives | Jack's War Ration Card 1943-1944

Jack received a certificate of appreciation from the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman, for his service contributed to the Nation as a Selective Service System Registrar during the period of registration, August 30, 1948 through September 18, 1948.

Traverso Archives | Jack on vacation