John Aaron Gieratz, born John Aaron Skidmore on August 24, 1960, to Richard and Jackie Skidmore in Hamilton, Ohio. John was the youngest of the Skidmore boys. He attended Loveland Elementary, King Mills Junior High School and Loveland High School in Ohio. In 1980, John decided to leave Ohio and head west to join his mom in sunny Southern California. The day he left, he hooked up a U-haul trailer to his Chevy Chevette, which was packed to the gills with everything he owned. John listened to and sang those cool 1970's songs that he absolutely loved, all the way to California. He sang California Dreamin' and at every stop he made along the way, he made sure that he could pull straight in and out of the parking stall because he could not back up with the trailer hooked up to his Chevette. John made it to California on a wing and a prayer. He quickly adapted to life in California and John loved his new life, he knew it was where he would plant his roots and where he belonged.
Soon after his arrival, he began working in the retail business and quickly rose into management. In 1988, John decided to work with his mother, Jackie, in their family-owned medical insurance business until 1991. After the business closed, he took a couple of years off. On the night of September 22, 1991, John met the love of his life, Edwin Gieratz. Both John and Eddie were inseparable from that day forward. John resumed working in retail from 1992 to 1996 at Coronet as a store manager. In 1996, he changed his career path and worked with developmentally delayed adults at Independent Living Systems, I.L.S until 2013. During his employment at I.L.S in 2011, John also embarked on an additional adventure; he joined the training program in the Transportation Department at Redlands Unified School District. John successfully completed the rigorous training program and passed his required test at the California Highway Patrol on August 3, 2011. He had mastered the skills to drive a forty foot long transit school bus with air brakes. John could parallel park, back it around a corner, do a gradual and sharp backing crossover and many other backing maneuvers without batting an eye. His days of not being able to back a trailer up were well in his past. John loved driving the children to and from school and on field trips. The children he drove absolutely loved and adored him. He was known to them as Mr. John. The delight of driving a school bus brought happiness to him, up to the very last day that he drove them. On September 22, 2013, John and Eddie were joined in marriage at Silent Valley at the Chapel of the Woods. It was a beautiful sunny day, John's heart was elated, as they exchanged vows and he proudly took the last name of Gieratz. John was a social butterfly and people loved his beautiful soul that contained his heart of gold.
John earned his wings and departed to heaven on September 22, 2021. He is survived by his husband, Edwin Gieratz, brother, Frank Skidmore, sister-in-law, Sue Skidmore, and brother, Mike Skidmore. He is also survived by a multitude of nephews, nieces, great nephews, great nieces, and his adopted family, the Reyes'. John Aaron Gieratz was preceded in death by his parents; Richard Skidmor and Jackie Duessent, sister-in-law, Mel Skidmore and his beloved niece, Tina Lane. John Aaron Gieratz loved life, blessed many with beautiful memories and will forever be cherished in our hearts, until we meet again. May our Angel John rest in eternal peace with Jesus.
In lieu of flowers, family requests that donations be made in honor of John to St. Jude's Children Research Hospital at https://www.stjude.org/.