John Barnes Sias
88, of Houston, Texas and formerly of San Francisco, CA took his final cast on August 23rd. John was at his home with his wife Lucretia of 65 years and he had just said goodnight.
John Barnes Sias was the youngest of three children born in the exhilarating climate of Los Angeles, CA to Donald and Helena Sias. John’s family moved to Mill Valley where his brothers taught him how to read in kindergarten and where the 15 year old John met Lucretia at Tamalpais High School. John graduated from high school in two years, then attended the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina for further studies in respect and discipline.
Throughout his formative years, John continued to pursue the hand of Lucretia but the scrawny teenager wasn’t able to close the deal until after he served his country. In doing so, John was a paratrooper in WWII jumping with sled dogs employed in artic search and rescue all the while training for a jump on Japan.
John’s military service completed his thorough understanding of the dark arts of discipline and hard work which were to become so important throughout his life. Emerging from the shadow of WWII John attended his beloved Stanford University where he graduated in 2-1/2 years.
Flush with a rigorous education and practiced in the art of hard work, John began a career in advertising and media sales, which culminated in him serving as President, ABC Television Network and EVP of Capital Cities/ABC. Subsequently, John became President and CEO of The Chronicle Publishing Company of San Francisco.
John was known throughout his career for humorous exploits which included wearing a Captain America tee shirt to work and blasting a boat horn to keep his employees awake. John was named a honorary citizen in Fort Worth where he built a publishing plant for The Fort Worth Star Telegram. In jest, his employees named the street the John B Sias Memorial Parkway.
John’s personal life was filled with social and civic engagement. John served as president of the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport Ct. and the Pacific Union Club of San Francisco. John served on the boards of The California Investment Trust, Enzo Biochem, the Norwalk Hospital, The Nature Conservancy of Montana, The Nature Conservancy (National), and the Stanford Alumni Association. John loved outdoor activity, including tennis, skiing and it was his lifelong passion for fly fishing that took him around the world. John’s positive attitude and sense of humor allowed him to make numerous friends in places like Tiera Del Fuego, Alaska, New Zealand, Kamchatka and Montana.
John is preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Helena Sias; brothers, Thomas and Roane Sias; and his daughter, Helena Thorpe Sias Witte.
John is survived by his wife, Lucretia; daughter, Lucretia and husband Tim Knapp; son, Donald and wife Barbara; son, Bill and wife Julia; and seven grandchildren, Katherine and husband John Gerrish, with granddog Banjo, William Jr., James, and John Sias, and Lucretia, Helena and Eric Witte Jr.
A memorial service is to be conducted at four o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday, the 5th of September, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive.
Donations in John’s memory may be directed to The Nature Conservancy of Montana, 32 South Ewing, Helena, Montana 59601.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 30, 2015
Posted in: sfgate.com
Posted on: 0000-00-00
Link to original obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sfgate/obituary.aspx?n=john-sias&pid=175682177&fhid=6290#sthash.1qhmMYEJ.dpuf