John passed away peacefully on October 17, 2012, at age 53, with his loving family by his side following a two year battle with cancer, in which he fought relentlessly with the most positive of attitudes while never feeling sorry for himself or allowing others to feel sorry for him.
John is survived by his loving and devoted best friend of 32 years and wife of 26 years, Tracy, and sons Christopher and Nicholas. He also is survived by his parents, John and Kay Lucido and his sister, Rosemary (Bob) Rusca, all of Martinez, CA; father-in-law Andrew Lillie; sister-in-law Brenda (George) Dunbar and brother-in-law Drew (Anne) Lillie; beloved dog, Riley; and loyal cat, Tasha.
Born November 20, 1958, Johnny, as he was known to family and friends, grew up in Martinez, California, and attended Alhambra High School. He was a superb prep athlete who went on to play both baseball and football collegiately at the University of California-Davis from 1976 to 1980. Johnny captained the 1979 and 1980 UC Davis football teams to a combined record of 13-5-2 and consecutive Far Western Conference championships. He also received the Chevrolet Motor Division Offensive Player of the Game Award, as chosen by ABC-TV sportscasters, for his performance against Cal Poly State on November 11, 1978. He was also awarded 1980 Bob Oliver Award, given annually to the player deemed the Unsung Hero of the UC Davis football team.
After graduating as an Outstanding Senior with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1981, Johnny began a long career in business as a successful insurance executive, spending the last 28 years of his career with Farmers Insurance Group. He performed at a high level in several different roles for Farmers in Northern California and Phoenix, Arizona, from 1984 to 2000. Farmers then promoted Johnny to State Executive Director in Omaha, where he oversaw all of Farmers’ operations for Nebraska, and eventually the Dakotas and Iowa, until 2010 when Farmers named him State Executive Director for Oklahoma. In January 2012, the state of Arkansas was also added to his duties. While in Nebraska and Oklahoma, Johnny was also on the Board of Directors for the March of Dimes Foundation.
Johnny was a gracious, humble person who loved his family more than anything. He and Tracy met as students at UC Davis and were soul mates from the very beginning. Their friendship and their love for each other created a bond that sustained them through good times and tough times alike. Johnny was a wonderful, loving father who shared his outlook on life and his love of sports with his sons and mentored them as they developed into successful athletes, and more importantly, successful people, in their own right. He set a positive example for all he met in how he carried himself as a husband, father, friend, and businessman and left a legacy that will be carried on by the large number of people he impacted. While Johnny’s family will miss him dearly, they are comforted in knowing that his memory and loving spirit will be in their hearts forever.
A celebration of Johnny’s life will be held on Thursday, October 25th at 11:00 am at Liberty Church in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.