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Transform: Peace Corps 50

Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2011

“I really loved my term of service in Peru,” John Johnck ’60 says of his years with the Peace Corps in the mid-1960s. “It was ennobling and enabling – and humbling. It’s really a transformational experience for anybody who goes into it.”

Answering Kennedy’s call took Johnck into the Peace Corps. In Peru, he had audited credit unions. (See previous blog post.)
Back in the States, he went to work for Del Monte International’s management training program. That took him all around the world – from the Philippines to Italy, from Mexico to England – training staff in financial analysis and capital asset budgeting.
For three years he returned to Latin America, serving as controller for a corporate subsidiary in Caracas, Venezuela.
A buyout brought retirement, so Johnck went to work in construction: supervising a team remodeling Victorians in San Francisco and running a hot tub business in Berkeley with one-time colleagues from Del Monte. Since 1994 he’s been retired.
Along with working he got involved in Republican politics in the Bay Area, serving a few years as chairman of the San Francisco Republican Party.
Back in the day, he worked for California Governor Ronald Reagan and considered himself a Nixon Republican. He still has his finger on the pulse of politics: These days, he’s proud to call himself a Tea Party Republican.
He splits his time between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. He and his wife are currently remodeling a house in Reno.
When we caught up by phone, he was in the middle of buying windows for the place.
Santa Clara grads who also attended St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco have another fellow alumnus in Johnck. He and his Class of ’56 buddies from SI (and they were all boys back then, just as Santa Clara was all-male) like to catch up at Caesar’s Italian Restaurant in San Francisco — a North Beach institution, it so happens, that opened its doors the same year he graduated from high school.
Steven Boyd Saum, Editor


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