John Paul Nathaniel Thursday, November 25, 1954 - Monday, June 26, 2017

John Paul Nathaniel, 62, of Santa Maria, CA passed away on June 26, 2017 after a
lengthy battle with Dementia. John was born in Santa Maria, California on November
25, 1954. John attended local schools, graduating from St. Joseph High School in 1972.
After graduating high school, John moved to San Diego where he continued his
education at UCSD.
After several years in San Diego, John decided to go in a different direction and moved
back home to Santa Maria. After coming back home, John went to work performing soil
testing. It was this time that John followed his interest in the fire service and joined the
Orcutt Volunteer Fire Dept. where he would spend many years as a volunteer rising to
the rank of Battalion Chief. John would go on to be a professional firefighter at
Vandenberg AFB as a Federal employee. While at Vandenberg, John completed his AA
degree in fire science. He would later move to San Diego to continue his career at
Federal Fire San Diego where he rose to the rank of Captain. John served on the San
Diego area Arson Task Force and was a member of his departments honor guard, often
displaying the colors at various sporting events throughout San Diego.
John loved the outdoors, and would travel to mountainous destinations on his days off
to explore and hike the back country. A few of his favorite spots were the Santa Ynez
Mountains and the Big Bear area. John moved to Arcata for a few years after retiring in
2011 and would often rave about the big trees in Mendocino county. John moved back
to Santa Maria in late 2014 and stayed busy doing yard work and walking.
John is survived by his daughter Nicole Roach (Michael) of Mansfield TX; sister Joan
Zimmermann and nephew Dave Zimmermann (Kimberley) of Santa Maria; nephew
Scott Zimmermann (Charisse) of Atascadero. John is also survived by numerous great
nieces and nephews.
John was proceeded in death by his parents Arthur and Dolores Nathaniel; brother-in-
law David R Zimmermann; and nephew Ronald Zimmermann.
At John's request, no services will be held.
John's family would like to thank the amazing staff at Magnolia and Primrose houses in
Orcutt where he lived for the last 15 months. We would also like to thank the staff at
Central Coast Hospice.
If you desire, John would be honored if you were to make a donation to the charity of
your choice in his memory.
John Paul Nathaniel, 62, of Santa Maria, CA passed away on June 26, 2017 after a
lengthy battle with Dementia. John was born in Santa Maria, California on November
25, 1954. John attended local schools, graduating from St. Joseph High School in 1972.
After graduating high school, John moved to San Diego where he continued his
education at UCSD.
After several years in San Diego, John decided to go in a different direction and moved
back home to Santa Maria. After coming back home, John went to work performing soil
testing. It was this time that John followed his interest in the fire service and joined the
Orcutt Volunteer Fire Dept. where he would spend many years as a volunteer rising to
the rank of Battalion Chief. John would go on to be a professional firefighter at
Vandenberg AFB as a Federal employee. While at Vandenberg, John completed his AA
degree in fire science. He would later move to San Diego to continue his career at
Federal Fire San Diego where he rose to the rank of Captain. John served on the San
Diego area Arson Task Force and was a member of his departments honor guard, often
displaying the colors at various sporting events throughout San Diego.
John loved the outdoors, and would travel to mountainous destinations on his days off
to explore and hike the back country. A few of his favorite spots were the Santa Ynez
Mountains and the Big Bear area. John moved to Arcata for a few years after retiring in
2011 and would often rave about the big trees in Mendocino county. John moved back
to Santa Maria in late 2014 and stayed busy doing yard work and walking.
John is survived by his daughter Nicole Roach (Michael) of Mansfield TX; sister Joan
Zimmermann and nephew Dave Zimmermann (Kimberley) of Santa Maria; nephew
Scott Zimmermann (Charisse) of Atascadero. John is also survived by numerous great
nieces and nephews.
John was proceeded in death by his parents Arthur and Dolores Nathaniel; brother-in-
law David R Zimmermann; and nephew Ronald Zimmermann.
At John's request, no services will be held.
John's family would like to thank the amazing staff at Magnolia and Primrose houses in
Orcutt where he lived for the last 15 months. We would also like to thank the staff at
Central Coast Hospice.
If you desire, John would be honored if you were to make a donation to the charity of
your choice in his memory.


Niki your dad and I shared a great part of eah others career together before he retired and he was able to share the pride of his life with me and that was you. He loved you and your mom dearly and I was so glad when I got to meet you when you were little. Niki your dad was so kind and really cared about others but he loved his family dearly and dont ever forget that. So to you and the family, thoughts and prayers and love go out and I hope time will heal this loss but John would want everyone to think happy thoughts and really just remember that great big teddy bear smile he had. Please call me niki
Love you niki
Brian Goforth
619 251 5243

I am so sorry to hear of John's passing. My father, Bud Kaufenberg, was living at Primrose when he passed in December of last year. He lived there for 7 months and during that time John and my father, I beleive, became close. Whenever I visited my father, which was often, John was always there with a smile and a greeting. When my father went into hospice care, John was a great comfort to me and while my father was cognizant, to him. When my father was no longer congnizant of his surroundings, John would come in and sit with me and we would talk and cry together. I cannot tell you how much his death saddens me; he was a gentle soul and is now in a much better place. 

John was a great guy and good friend.  We were classmates at St. Mary's and St. Joseph High School, and kept in touch after graduation.  I'll always remember taking his Mom's Corvair over Figueroa Mountain in the snow!

As "life happens," though, we lost contact except for the rare occasions I would see John with his Mom at Mass when he was in town.  

Rest in Peace, my friend...

 

 

I remember reporting to Federal Fire San Diego and John was my first captain working with. He was fair and a pleasure to work with, we fought fire together, laughed together and will always remember his great sense of humor and smile. You'll be truly missed and never forgotten Captain John Nathaniel God bless you & Rest in Peace......

My condolences to all of John's family. I was a classmate all through grade school and high school. John was a kind, intelligent and friendly person. I know he is with God. Blessings, Anita Martinez Wesley

My condolences on the passing of John. I enjoyed working with him at FFD San Diego. He was a great guy.