John Harry Raetz died October 4, 2022, at the age of 88 in Mesquite,
Nevada. For the last eight years he lived off the grid in Wasilla,
Alaska, and loved fishing, hunting, and hanging with his friends at The
Tug where he was known as “Grandpa,” “Old Man,” “Castle John,” or “Knik
Cowboy.” He recently moved to Overton, Nevada, to be closer to his
children in the lower forty-eight.
John was born in Yuba City, California, April 18, 1934, to Emil Harry
Raetz, Sr. and Rose Mary Allen Nunes. He worked in a bakery during high
school; served three years in the Marines during the Korean War; worked
for the Bell Telephone Company in Las Vegas; spent several years as a
farmer/rancher and construction worker in Pahrump, NV with his first
wife, Patricia Murray and eight children. During that time he was also
active in 4-H, a brand inspector, and served on the Nevada State Board
of Agriculture. After thirty years in Pahrump, he continued ranching
when he moved to Beryl, Utah. After the death of his second wife,
Lenore, he “headed north to Alaska” and enjoyed his wild life there for
the last several years.
John is survived by 11 children, two sisters, three brothers, and
numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. Children: Cynthia
(Matt) Nelson, Marie Becht, Marjorie (Eduardo) Gonzalez, Sharon Pineda,
Andrew (Heather) Raetz, Dean (Sabrina) Raetz, Sara (Timothy) Day, Frank
(Carmen) Raetz, Leann (Robert) Hudley, Richard Schneider, Laurie
(George) Letourneau; Siblings: Cecil Raetz, Ronald (Patricia) Raetz,
Stephen (Jackie) Raetz, Barbara (Robert) Wilson, Patricia (Richard)
Rose. John was preceded in death by his second wife: Lenore Anita
(Sayers); his parents and two brothers: Leroy Raetz and Emil Harry
An Alaska memorial potluck and storytelling was held Saturday, October
15, at the Tug Bar to honor John Raetz.
In Las Vegas, Nevada, the family invites you to a celebration of life to
honor and remember our dynamic, big-talking, fun-loving,
jack-of-all-trades. Please plan to stay and share your “Johnisms” while
we all enjoy dinner together. The memorial is scheduled for Friday,
October 21, 2022, 4 PM, at the American Legion Post 8, at 733 Veterans
Memorial Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89101, followed by dinner for all
friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, donate to The Last Frontier Honor Flight in the name
of John Raetz. [https://www.lastfrontierhonorflight.com/donate] or [PO
Box 875021, Wasilla, AK 99687] This group flies veterans to see the DC
Monuments from which John benefitted this last April.
If you would like to send a note to the Raetz family, please mail to:
Cynthia Nelson, PO Box 944, Overton, NV 89040.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Harry Raetz, please visit our floral store.