Daniel Benjamin Matranga January 21, 1924 – January 11, 2016

Daniel Benjamin Matranga January 21, 1924 - January 11, 2016

The family will be holding a graveside service on Friday, January 22nd, 2016, at 10:30 A.M., at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Santa Nella.
 Daniel Benjamin Matranga (“Dan”), a resident of Los Banos, passed peacefully of natural causes on January 11, 2016. He was 91. 
 He leaves a daughter, Carol (Courtney) and a son, Richard, grandchildren: Laura (Headley), Michael and Matthew (Courtney), and Danny (Matranga), great-grandchildren: Liam and Donovan (Headley) and Orion (Courtney), and nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his sister, Frances, (Broedlow) of Salida, CA. 
 He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 54 years, Celeste, in 1997.
 Dan was born in Morgan Hill and met Celeste at Live Oak High School. They were married in 1943.
 He served proudly as a flight crew chief working mostly on B-17s and B-24s during World War II, and was promoted to the level of staff sergeant in the army-air force.
 Known for his athleticism and coaching abilities, he was “clocked ” in the 100-yard dash at 10 seconds flat and played baseball in various leagues well into his 50’s. 
 After several years as the owner of a Flying A gas station in Tracy, he moved to Gilroy with his wife and children in 1959 and worked with family in the construction business (Farotte) for 30 years before retiring and moving with his wife, Celeste, to Los Banos.
 While in Gilroy, Dan served on the Parks and Recreation Commission, coached Little League and Pony League Baseball, and was a church youth group leader. 
 Although retired in 1989, he remained active in his son’s winery business and was an avid gardener, processing olives, pickles and other delicacies (like his famous pasta con pesto) and gifting them to friends and family.
 Dan was proud of his military service and often recalled witnessing the first explosion of the Atom bomb while being stationed during World War II in the desert of New Mexico. 
 Known by his family as “Papa”, he will be sorely missed by his friends, his family, and his wonderful neighbors.

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