Photo of John Connors Photo of John and Janie Connors Photo of John Connors

Thoughts and Memories of John Connors

John Connors, the President of Sepulveda Building Materials through 2011, passed away in December, 2012. He touched the lives of people within the building materials industry and beyond. His energy, enthusiasm and never-ending supply of great ideas was infectious and inspiring.

A true leader and visionary, John was Sepulveda’s most devoted employee and an amazing man. He built a highly successful building materials business from the ground up.

A man known for always dealing up “the cold hard facts of life”, John instilled a strong work ethic at Sepulveda. Up at 4:00 am, he was a wise negotiator who was tough as nails, and overall, was fair to his employees. He participated in every aspect of the company, and because of this he touched our hearts and made an impact on our lives and careers. John was a man everyone just loved to see and have around. We at Sepulveda were fortunate to work with him.

As the company moves forward under the leadership of Mike Connors, we will honor John’s memory by adding to his legacy of dedication and hard work, and we are wholly committed to maintaining and nurturing the relationships we have with our vendors and customers.

 
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Small photo of John Connors

Small photo of John Connors

Small photo of John Connors

Small photo of John Connors

Small photo of John Connors

Small photo of John Connors

Remembering John Connors
1/11/13
I would like to share two memories of John Connors ... A personally funny and
embarrassing memory that John was a part of and a very respectful memory of a
wonderful human being ...
In the early 90's I put together and presented a "Distributor Training School" for Pacific
Clay distributors. John personally attended the very first school. I'm pretty sure it was to
check it out himself before sending his Sepulveda salespeople to future schools.
These schools began shortly after Pacific Clay's "Ping vs Thud" and "Quality You Can
Test" marketing campaigns so one feature of the school was a "Modulus of Rupture"
demonstration to showcase the strength of Pacific Clay Pavers as compared to
competitor products. It uses a hydraulic pump and gauge to measure the pressure at
which a brick will break........ Clay Pavers would handle several thousand pounds of pressure
before breaking. Well, on this first day things didn't go exactly as I planned ... I had
selected some PCP pavers to test from a pallet by the lab. They looked perfectly fine to
me but apparently were from a run that had been rejected by QC for hairline cracks
within the body of the paver that did not show on the surface. ... to my surprise, when I began
to apply the pressure to the PCP paver, it broke almost immediately from very little
pressure at all. I can only imagine the embarrassing look that John must have seen on
my face at that moment. Well, over the past 20 years, John has been kind not to
refresh that memory too many times but there have been a few opportune occasions in
which he couldn't resist bringing it up again to tease me!

My 2nd memory to share is that of sincere caring man that generously gave of his own
time & treasure to help make a better life for those of unfortunate circumstances. John
has been a huge supporter of the "Ronald McDonald Homes" for children and families
coping with disease and more recently the "Guide Dogs of America" organization which
benefits the visually impaired. I'm grateful to John for the opportunity to play a small part
in his big vision

John, you are greatly missed ...
May God bring comfort and blessing to your family

Douglas R Pearson, Pacific Clay


My Frend John,

In 1974 Lynn and I bought our first ever home across the street from John and Janie
on West Vale Road in Palos Verdes. Before long our shower drain was plugged and a
liberal administration of sulfuric acid proved unavailing. In short order some guy
named John Connors was on his back beside me in the cobwebbed crawl space under our
ranch-style house, taking the plumbing apart under a rain of acidic sludge. You
could say we got to know each other in the dark, but in the ensuing six years John
brought a lot of light into our lives. I am sure he did the same for many others by
his welcoming manner, strength, ever-present energy, plain spokenness, and life-long
insistence on honesty and fair dealing. John was wide open to the world, even
taking under his mentorship this miserable lawyer who, until he became the
beneficiary of John's tuition, was all thumbs in the practical matters of which John
was a master.

If you want to know John, read The Book of Man by William J. Bennett, a celebration
of all it is to be man. It could serve as John's biography.

A never-to-be-forgotten moment? When I told John my wife had somehow gotten
pregnant for the third time John, standing in his driveway before one goddamned
Model T or another, allowed as how the same thing had somehow happened to Janie.
More or less at the same time my son Ryan and John's son Mike emerged into the
world. While Ryan looks a lot like Mike I take comfort in the fact that when Ryan
was conceived John was probably busy elsewhere. If I take Mike to be John's only
son, then from the looks of the Christmas card photo I saw just days before learning
of John's passing, Mike's good genes will ensure his ability to build on his
father's legacy. Good God, , what if I had got lucky twice and Mike turned out to
be just a miserable lawyer?

The only piece of bad advice I ever got from John came when I said I was thinking
about leaving my law firm..... that would require a move to the Bay Area and ~400
miles between us. John, a top-notch entrepreneur in his own right,
uncharacteristically confessed his concern about the risk involved. For once, my
wife listened to me instead of John, and the outcome proved good in every respect
other than our longtime loss of John and Janie's company. I have always thought
John was just saying "Don't leave me."

Lynn and I joined John and Janie a few years ago at a great resort on the West side
of Vancouver Island. We ate well, John converted me to Diet Coke, we watched whales
and a black bear teach her cub to fish along the rock-strewn shore, and we bicycled
down an endless beach. John left me behind. I can still see him out there ahead of
me, far down the strand, and I am certain I will catch up to him again one of these
days. I look forward to it, but Lord, as the alarm clock says to me each
morning...not yet...not yet.

Tom Kiley


Sincere condolences

John was truly a man of his word. His ethics were impeccable. It was a privilege to
have known him, for there are very few of his calibre in this world.

My sincerest condolences to you Mike, Janie and family.

Milton & Wanda Stone


Seems like a very nice forever ...

When John and I were young, our families lived about 12 houses apart in
Westfield. My father was a General Contractor and used John's dad's
company for all of his masonry work. My brother George was a mason for
John's dad for many years prior to becoming a Fireman for the City of Los
Angeles.

In our youth, it seemed like every time we set out to have fun, John and
I--and sometimes my brother George--got together to do the deed.

We also involved just a few other select friends, namely John Womack and
Pete Rathmell.

To begin with, it was truly kid stuff as we were preteens. Then came the
teenage years and motorcycles/motor bikes/cars-etc.--then the teenage years
and beer (pure silence here).

John really got involved with Antique Cars--he had a lot of fun and went
through knuckles and cash like you would expect.


More recently, my favorite memories were from our annual Christmas visits
after Betty and I and the boys moved back to California after 12 years in
Texas. My sister Mary still lives in Westfield, so after Christmas dinner
at her house we made a tradition of stopping by to visit John and Janie and
whatever other family members were still around. We enjoyed basking in the
warmth of their home and catching up on the events of the past year.
Watching the dynamics of time and family, and listening to John's tales of
work were enlightening to say the least.

Over 55 years of fond thoughts for a super nice friend-John, we were blessed
to know you!

Tom Doerfler


I had the pleasure of meeting John in 1990 at a children's birthday party in Rolling
Hills Estates. At the time, I was the City Manager of Redondo Beach, but had just
accepted an offer to become the first City Manager of Laguna Niguel. John
introduced himself as the owner of Sepulveda Building Materials and mentioned that
one of his store locations was in Laguna Niguel. When he asked me what I did, I
replied that I was the newly appointed City Manager of Laguna Niguel. He proceeded
to tell me about the proposed Toll Road and how one of the alternative alignments
would have a devastating impact on his Laguna Niguel location. A few days later, he
had several boxes of environmental studies delivered to our home in Redondo Beach so
I could study the issue. He was absolutely right!! The alternative alignment would
have severely impacted Sepulveda Building Materials, Allen Cadillac/Oldsmobile and
the new Costco, and would have badly hurt the new city's tax base. Fortunately, the
Toll Road leaders abandoned the alternate alignment and these businesses were saved.

Later, John was a strong advocate for the construction of the Laguna Niguel-Mission
Viejo Metrolink Station at its present location. He clearly foresaw its potential
positive impact on this area of Laguna Niguel, as well as the future use of his
property which he always considered part of his financial legacy for his children.
We hit a few bumps along the road during property negotiations, but the station
became a reality and is now considered the southern hub of the Orange County
Metrolink system.

John was a loving husband and father, a smart and tough businessman, and a strong
protector of his family and business interests.

He will be truly missed.

Tim Casey, City Manager, Laguna Niguel


Dearest Janie, Krista & Mike,

Bill and I were very saddened by the news of John's passing. Just last year
Bill was working at your neighbors house and had talked with John a couple
of times to do some catching up. Bill had no idea John was battling
cancer, and such an aggressive type. Bill said he looked good as usual. My sister
passed away two years ago from a Glioblastoma Multiforme. It was a tough
battle for all of us.

I have fond memories of working with John to develope the new tile signs
for the Laguna store. I loved the creative freedom and enjoyed working with
everyone involved.

John was a remarkable guy and a great businessman. He will be greatly
missed by all who knew him! He has left behind an incredible legacy. Our hearts and warmest thoughts are with you all.

Best regards,

Bill & Risė Howe, Howe Custom Home Builders


Dear Connors family,

My wife & and I would like to express our most sincere condolences for your
loss. . .

May you find comfort in this time!

Sincerely,

Kevin & Ann Ivy, Sepulveda


Sadness filled my heart when I learned the news of John's passing. It was
replaced with reflection and now appreciation. Appreciation of a man who
shaped my past, affected my present, and whose spirit will always remain
with me in the future. I worked for John and the Sepulveda "family" for 25
years. I knew John for 39 years. He was a mentor and a larger than life
figure in my eyes. My thoughts and prayers are with Janie, Mike and Krista.
God Bless.

Sincerely,

Mike Tucker


Everyone at Graniterock extends sincere condolences in the loss of John. We
understand the difficulty you are all dealing with right now and we send thoughts
and prayers to the family as well as the employees.

Robin Steudler, Graniterock


Thinking of you

Janie,Mike and Krista, Our thoughts are with you. I know you have all been through a
lot over the last couple of years. We are here. If there is anything Rip or I can do
to help you in anyway.

Rip and Phyllis


My thoughts and prayers are with the Connors Family.

Sincerely,

Bob Adamo


A true mentor to all current and past employees of SBM.

It was a privilege that John, Janie and Mike entrusted me to manage the Gardena
location for many years
and feel great sadness for this loss.

You always knew when JC was in the store :-) He taught me what real customer service
is and I carry that to this day.

On my very first day on closing the Gardena store I went to set the alarm some how
screwed it up and was in a small panic. Of course John was just a phone call away
and walked me through it as we laughed.

He and Janie were there for me when I lost my sister back in 2005 and will never
forget their compassion and generosity to the local animal shelter our Judy cared so
much about.

When John closed the Torrance location the local Torrance fire captain (a friend of
mine) asked if he could use the vacant building as a training facility before it was
torn down by the new property owners. John was up
for it and to this day I know the Torrance Fire Department as well as all of LA
County services thank SBM for the use. You don't get a 3 story building everyday to
train for rescues. Thank you again John from the first responders.

Or the story, in his travels, spotting a truck load of boulders (that we were not
carrying at the time), pulled over on the side of the road and stopped but not
finding the driver dropped a business card on the window. Next thing you know a
shipment arrived at the store and we sold out with 2 weeks. John was definitely a
man of the future. He looked at his business 5 years ahead and in doing ensures the
success of SBM.

He will be missed by all and that includes the Gardena yard pup. You never saw a dog
more excited when she saw John come to the store on a Thursday afternoon.

All the best to Janie, Mike, Krista and the grandchildren our prayers are with you
in this difficult time.

Thom McCarroll and Family


I would like to send my deepest condolences to Janie, Mike and Krista. I
will always remember John and the good times we had together. He will always
have a place in my heart.

Rest in peace my friend.

Dave Maietta, Multicoat Corporation


A note for Krista

Krista,

I am so sorry to hear about your dad's passing. I lost my mom a year ago and it was
and continues to be a struggle, especially when they are gone way too soon.

I always remember and think about the time I got to spend with you and your family
and especially how obviously proud your dad was of you and how much he took care of
you! I specifically remember spending the weekend there (literally the night before
the big earthquake) and how we had to ride around in your car with wet seats
because your dad insisted on having the car fully detailed for you while you were
home. He was such a big personality.

I know you are hurting now, but I also know you will be able to take some comfort
from the fact that you did him proud and made his days here as best as they could
have been!

Thinking of you,

Randi Polanich, Global Communications


Dear Janie, Mike & Krista,

I was very saddened to hear of John's passing yesterday afternoon. John
always treated me with respect, kindness and generosity over the past 13
years that I had known him. Some of my fondest BSI memories include your
family, and in particular, your Dad. I greatly respected his dedication
to his company and was shocked to learn that there was someone who was as
"in love" with his job as much as my own father, Joe Dellacroce. Granted,
I think John may have had my father beat with his wake up calls. Scary
when a customer in California calls when we are just opening the doors in
Connecticut!

Last week, Jason and I were sharing a travelling stories at a dinner party
with friends. One of our favorites came up - our road trip with John and
Janie into the Idaho quartzite quarries. Do you remember, Janie?
Memories of John stopping at the gas station to fill up the tank at the
last gas station and asking me to grab him a Big Gulp before he headed on
out to the dirt road that went for miles and miles.my simple question of
"What do you do if you get a flat tire out here?".the cows in the road.and
the punchline - John's 4 door sedan getting a flat tire in the middle of
nowhere. I don't think I will ever forget the sight of all our luggage
sitting on the side of the road, the 6 or so BSI legends surrounding the
car, trying to figure out how to change the tire in the middle of nowhere
as they shared stories of Lon burning his seat cushions to stay warm when
he was stranded in Idaho.

John was a good man and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with him over
the years. It was nice to have someone that could "tell it like it is"
and could appreciate my tendency to do the same. Near and far, from coast
to coast, he will be missed. Please know that I will be praying for all
of you this weekend and that your Dad will always be remembered fondly in
our family here in Connecticut.

Your friend,

Brie Pfannenbecker, Connecticut Stone Supplies, Inc.


Dear Connors Family

I remember John as this man that told me once I can do anything!

I wish he knew what that meant to me even still.

I remember John used to take this 3 minute hour glass on his desk and tell
me that was how long I HAD so I should talk fast!!

I remember John telling me I could sell his wallet back to him at a profit
- he laughed so hard when he told me that he almost fell off his chair!

I remember John as a real Taurus like myself - he would point this out to
me at times and say ''YOUR JUST LIKE ME SO GO OUT AND JUST MAKE IT HAPPEN"

I remember being so proud when at the Christmas Party he called me up to
the stage and said and now - our own little version of NY our Tile Queen!!

I will see you all on the 12th. I am so sorry to hear of his passing so
young still!

My prayers are with you all and my life changed so much by meeting him and
working with you all.

He is one of a few driving forces in my life that made me know I could do
it all make it happen as he said to me.

I own a tile store myself now since last year and it is because of many
reasons including those that touched my life!

May you be at peace in heaven.

Dottie Sellick


I am truly shocked at John's passing as I was unaware of his illness. I have
enjoyed our friendship over the years and particularly the past few years in
our association with the BSI. I attended the BSI open house at Sepulveda's
facility in Orange County this past year. John was a true leader in the
industry and we here at Peridian have relied on his company for the best and
largest selections of stone and masonry materials for use on our projects.
He will be missed! My condolences to his family and his extended family at
Sepulveda Building Materials.

Rae Price, Peridian International Inc.


Dear Janie, Mike, Krista, family and friends at Sepulveda and Lompoc,

I am so deeply saddened by the passing of John. BSI too will miss him
dearly and we have very much appreciated his dedication and involvement with
the BSI all these years.

Four and a half years ago, when I personally made a leap of faith to become
EVP of the BSI, I sat and visited for a few minutes with John and Janie at
JJ's Restaurant in Kansas City the last night of our 2009 Study Tour. John
was so sweet and reassuring to me that the event had gone well - that I was
doing a good job. I will never forget that moment in time. His phone calls
to BSI over the following years were equally supportive and upbeat. Who
would have ever known he was facing this?

As I read and re read the message sent to us from Steve, I managed to
eventually smile when I again read that John can be remembered as a "wise
negotiator". Thinking about that, he always did have a deal for us whenever
he would call about advertising, membership or other dealings with the BSI.
And because he was so charming, he usually got his way!

I wish you much strength and faith as you step forward on this new path.

With most sincere sympathies to you.

Jane Bennett , Building Stone Institute


Dear Janie and Mike and Krista:

I was so very, very sorry to hear of John's passing, today. It seems
like just yesterday that Jodi and I visited with John and Janie, in
California, while we were visiting sites for our wedding. That day's
lunch has stayed in our memories, and we speak of it often. Now I
realize that it's been 9 years! We will always remember John as a
quiet, kind, direct guy, with a heart of gold. The world needs more
John Connors, and has lost a true gentleman, in every sense of the word.

My Best,

Jonathan Zanger, walkerzanger


Dear Connors Family and SBM Staff:

Please accept my sincere condolences. I do so based on deep feelings of sympathy
for you all in this enormous loss. John was one of my favorites, and I am shocked
to hear this news. Tears are streaming as I type this.

I will always remember him positively, with fondness. I cannot know how you all are
feeling. Yet, please know that in your grief, while you learn to deal with his
absence, that he has inspired, encouraged, enlightened, and befriended many over the
years... many who you may never met personally or have even heard of. I am one who
is grateful to have been a recipient of all of his admirable qualities. He was a
favorite of mine the times we could meet, or share a meal, or a meeting. He will be
missed, but he will never be forgotten.

Sincere Regards and Sympathies,

Terrence L. Meck, Rolling Rock Building Stone


Janie, Mike, Krista:

So sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you in your time of sorrow.

Linda Knaus, Sepulveda


Mike, Janie, and Krista,

I'm so sorry to hear the news of John's passing. John was an Icon and one of the
smartest business men I know. John taught and shared so much knowledge over the
years and always supported me with bettering myself, even if it meant venturing out
on my own. It was a pleasure knowing him and he will never be forgotten. My thoughts
and prayers are with you, Mike, Janie, and Krista.

Brian McFarlane


To The Connors Family;

I am so saddened to hear the news about John Connors. Please know that your entire family is in my thoughts and prayers.

I have experienced a similar situation and all I can say is enjoy the time you have with everyone you love and make sure to live with no regrets.

I am honored to have had the pleasure to know him.

God Bless you all.

Yvonna Garcia, Architectural Sales, Sepulveda Building Materials

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