Cover photo for John Sobrero's Obituary
John Sobrero Profile Photo
1941 John 2023

John Sobrero

September 25, 1941 — May 23, 2023


John Stephen Sobrero died May 23, 2023 in Franklin, Tennessee at the age of 81.

John graduated in 1959 from Oakland High School in Oakland, California where he was class president for three years. He joined the Army in 1961 and was stationed in Germany where he worked in classified Radio Intelligence. After his honorable discharge in 1964, he returned to Northern California where he worked for the next five years as a Job Corps Counselor, a Night Counselor at a Juvenile detention facility, and a Basic Education Instructor at an employment training corporation.

In 1970, he established and ran John’s Soup Kitchen in Berkeley, California, embarking on a long career in the food service industry. In 1972, he moved into food service management and quickly worked his way up to managing for higher education institutions, eventually managing colleges and universities throughout the southern United States.  After retiring in 2000, John fed his insatiable appetite for knowledge at the University of Missouri, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in August, 2003, then his Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a Certificate in Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management from the University of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2006.  While earning his degrees, John began assisting fellow students from foreign countries by tutoring them in English, which he continued for many years after completing his education.

Throughout his life, one of his greatest pleasures was creating culinary masterpieces and hosting meals for family and friends. John treated everyone equally and fairly, and respected every person and his or her views and opinions. He had profound impact on all who knew him.

John leaves behind his wife, Patricia Sobrero, daughters Gina Sobrero and Rachel (Matthew) Stephens, grandsons Nicholas Evans and Oliver Stephens, sister Judy Wyte, brothers William “Billy” Sobrero and Frank “Bruzz” (Barbara) Sobrero, nephews and nieces Paul (Gina) Torres, Matthew (Kim) Torres, Joshua Wyte, Karis (Andre) Charles, Elizabeth Heller, Peter (Lisa) Sobrero, Tony Sobrero, Stephanie Fontaine, Monica (Dave) Suddarth, Judy (Bruce) John, Jenny Gallegos, Karen (Steve) Ballard, Brian (Lehua) Sobrero, and many great-nephews and nieces.

He was predeceased by his mother Virginia Butler Sobrero, his father Francis Caesar Sobrero, sister Penny (Jack) Settatree, sister Barbara Courtney, brother-in-law Dan Courtney, and nephews Michael Courtney and Mark Sobrero.

The family will be hosting a Celebration of Life honoring John on July 2, 2023 in Franklin, Tennessee.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Sobrero, please visit our flower store.


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