John William Borda passed away on June 5, 2020 at the age of 87 in Carson City, Nevada. He was born in Gardnerville, Nevada on March 27, 1933 to Raymond Borda and Gorgonia Martinez. His parents came to the United States from Europe in the late 1800’s. His father Raymond was very successful as a sheep owner and his mother ran the East Fork Hotel for sixty-one years. They were beloved in Gardnerville and Nevada.
He is survived by his sister Juanita Summers (Jim), daughter Andrea Borda Stanford (Steve), daughter in-law Tammy, son William Borda (Melissa) and son Johnny Borda (Jenny). Surviving are also his twelve grandchildren. Ryan, Brooke and Jade Stanford, Mazie, Rhett and Van Borda, Jeannie, Lou and Marie Borda and Jude, Marcus and Ellie Borda. Also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Preceded in death by Raymond and Gorgonia Borda. Also, by sister Marie Corda, sister Helen Oxoby, brothers Raymond, Pete and Bertrand Borda and his beloved son Michael Borda.
John graduated from Douglas County High School in 1951 serving as student body president. He was active in basketball, football and track. He was on the 1951 basketball team, which was undefeated in the Western Nevada Conference. Among his fine teammates were the three Summers brothers who always protected him. That year, he surpassed Earl Dunn’s annual scoring record. He enrolled at the University of Nevada in the fall of 1952. He played on the 1952 team coached by Jake Lawlor. Team record was 18 -3, best record in University of Nevada history.
In 1953 he was drafted into the service. He served in the 26th Infantry Regiment in Germany of the First Division. Leon Etchemendy was the Regimental Football coach and he appointed John as the statistician of the team. Leon and Ruby, his wife, treated him as family. He returned home and worked with his brothers at the sheep ranch in Dayton. He worked with Raymond “Lemon” Borda, his cousin at the French Hotel, later becoming a partner with Raymond. One evening, Chub Drakulich visited and convinced John that he should return to the University of Nevada to get his degree. In 1959, Jake hired him as a graduate assistant. He assisted in coaching basketball and baseball. After graduating in 1959, he stayed on completing
In 1960 he commenced teaching and coaching at Carson High School. In 1964 he married Cindy Wilson. He also returned to the University of Nevada Reno to complete his master’s degree in School Administration. Returning to Carson he coached the Varsity Basketball to an 18 – 4 record. He left Carson High when Governor Michael O’Callaghan appointed him to Director of
Traffic Safety for the State of Nevada. During those eight years, the Governor was instrumental in John’s mother becoming a United States citizen at the age of 75. It was one of the happiest moments of her life. They celebrated with dinner at the Governors’ Mansion.
John was hired as an executive with the Nevada Transportation and Franchised Dealers Association based in Reno and afterword was hired to establish a Foundation for the Western Nevada Community College with the initial emphasis was a successful Nursing Program.
John was very active with the St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church and helped to organize the Annual Basque Festival for years. It was very successful and well attended. His parents were married there in December 17, 1917 and John was also baptized in the same church. He was involved in many community activities. He headed activities for the Boys and Girls Club of Western Nevada. In its early years he helped raise funds for the Club with the Annual Fund Raiser. He regarded the Club as one of the finest organizations for young persons in the area. In 1996 he was awarded the “Annual Man of the Year” Award. He also volunteered at Carson Tahoe
Hospital where he visited patients and aided them with support and then later spent time volunteering in the Emergency Ward. He also served meals at FISH Dining Hall.
John was extremely proud of the scholastic success of his four children. His son Mike was a fine young man and was a tremendous loss to many. John loved the State of Nevada and was proud of his Basque heritage. He had many friends throughout the State. He was extremely grateful to his cousin Suzette Hicks who was a tremendous support in all his later years. His family had many memorable and joyous occasions, summer stays in Glenbrook, Disneyland, Giants and 49er games, the Sheep Ranch and weekly visits with Mama at the East Fork Hotel. John’s grandchildren
were his life.