Family members eulogized “Uncle Johnnie” and alt fuels advocates praised the tireless efforts of San Francisco Ford salesman par excellence John Janes, for whom a memorial service was held Sunday in Emeryville, Calif.
The service was held at the apartment complex where John lived – and passed away suddenly early in June. True to form, supplies for the open bar at the reception had been liberated from his own private stash.
Nieces and nephews told of a generous, larger-than-life man who never forgot a birthday and was always ready for a game of golf of a trip to the tables in Reno or Las Vegas.
Clean vehicle professionals told of a Ford salesman who never forgot a customer and who was able to convince his management to front the rebates and incentives that could be long in coming from government agencies.
Among the results, the San Francisco Yellow Cab Cooperative was one of the first in the nation to deploy hybrid vehicles, and subsequently came to host a major public access Clean Energy Fuels CNG outlet. The Yellow-owned fleet, San Francisco’s largest with approximately 500 vehicles, today is 100% hybrid or alternative fuels.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and his predecessor Gavin Newsom (now California Lieutenant Governor) praised San Francisco as the “Greenest Taxi City in America” at a Yellow-hosted event this past winter (F&F, February 13).
According to speakers in Emeryville Sunday, much of the credit for that achievement goes to John Janes.
“He built an empire of CNG and alternative fuel vehicles,” said Christopher Irwin, fleet sales chief at Serramonte Ford, where John Janes worked after stints at San Francisco Ford and at S&C Ford, also in San Francisco. “I’ll be damned if I let the last ten years of his life’s work go to waste,” Irwin told F&F.
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