THE MILLARES FAMILY
John Madio Millares was born in 1907 in Bangar, La Union, Philippines, and was the youngest of eight children. His father died when he was young, and his uncle stepped in to raise him. Growing up, he helped his uncle farm of rice, tobacco, and other crops. After he helped build an irrigation
canal for his town, he decided to leave for Hawai'i with friends from his hometown. John borrowed money from a brother-in-law for his transportation to Hawai'i. Like many young men, John left Hawai'i for California and worked as a laborer throughout the West Coast, Arizona, and in the fish canneries of Alaska. He then settled in the Central Coast area, living in both Watsonville and Hollister.
Following Pearl Harbor, John enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was the first of four men from Hollister to enlist. He was inducted on April 6 1942. He spent a week in Monterey and then was then stationed in Hawai'i. While he was in Hawai'i, a Filipino Infantry was formed, and he and his compadres were requested to be sent back to Monterey to join the new regiment, but the request was turned down. John achieved the rank of Sergeant and worked as a vehicle operator in Hawai'i. He returned to the mainland and was discharged from the Army on September 13, 1945 at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, California.
John married Vera Marshall Callan on July 17, 1945 in Vancouver, Washington. Vera was born in 1921 in Council Grover, Morris County, Kansas, and migrated west during the depression with her family and son, Larry Joe. She was previously married to a man named Pedro Civilian and had two daughters— Joan and Mary. Both daughters were born in Watsonville. John, Vera, and her children lived on the Rowe Ranch before moving to Watsonville and finally settling in Hollister. John raised the two girls as his own. Joan and Mary went by "Millares" until they were married.
John was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Fil-Visayan Association of America, Filipino Community of San Benito County, and V.F.W. Leslie L Garratt Post 6359 of San Juan Bautista. He retired from Rohnert & Sun and Seeds after twenty-two years. Vera retired from Care West Nursing Center after a long career working in health and allied fields.