John Masterson


John Masterson

January 11, 1932 to March 31, 2015

Longtime Scotts Valley resident John Masterson, passed away on March 31, 2015.

John was born January 11, 1932 in Los Angeles, where he lived until the late 1940s when his family relocated to Northern California.

John served in the United States Navy first as an aviation electrician and later as a courier of sensitive documents. After his discharge, he continued his education and took flying lessons for private aircraft with the hope of owning a plane. He tried a brief stint at operating an orchard that produced peaches, pears, and plums for commercial shipping, which he said resulted in “an unpredictable endeavor.”

In 1960, he was hired at the Lockheed Martin test base in Bonny Doon and fell in love with Santa Cruz County. Its beaches and seascapes reminded him of his body surfing days at Balboa in Southern California.

John married Carol in 1961 and they purchased their first home in Scotts Valley. Four years later, he became an insurance agent and formed Masterson Insurance Agency, a respected insurance service that operated in Scotts Valley until his retirement in 2007.

John was a volunteer fireman for Scotts Valley during the fire department’s early days and later served several terms as an elected commissioner for the Scotts Valley Fire District.

His love of the Sierra Nevada Mountains was evident when he designed and helped build a family cabin at Sky High Ranch, a remote subdivision at a 7,000 feet elevation. This place he referred to as God’s County.

He had a passion for cars and owned many through his lifetime. The two he regretted not keeping were his 1956 Ford Thunderbird and his 1967 Corvette Stingray. He was in the process of getting his 1917 Dodge touring car parade ready.

John is preceded in death by his son William “Mark” Masterson and is survived by his wife and longtime companion Carol and their daughter Laura Masterson, a sister Earlene Beckes, and many nieces and nephews. Internment will be private.

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