John Hurguy Jr. of Scottsdale passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on January 2, 2015 at the age of 95. John was one of four sons born in Cleveland, Ohio on February 2, 1919 to Mary Yenigar and John Hurguy Sr. He proudly served his country during WWll being awarded 4 Bronze Stars by the US Army. In 1947, he moved his wife Gizella and their daughter, Mary Louise, to Phoenix to join his father in operating John’s Café at 1104 East Van Buren. Several years later, his younger brother Bill joined him beginning their lifelong entrepreneurial endeavors by establishing a partnership which lasted well over 20 years. In 1960, after selling John’s Café, the brothers founded and co-owned the original Tee Pee Tap Room at 4144 East Indian School Rd and several years later, El Tango Mexican Food at 7835 North 19th Ave. Their longtime successful partnership ended when the brothers sold El Tango which led to John opening the La Placita Mexican Restaurant at 4117 North 16th Street with his wife Gizella and son in 1971. Then, after over 27 years of selling some of the finest Sonoran Mexican Food in the valley, John decided to retire and sold La Placita. Retirement didn’t last long as he determined after five days it wasn’t for him. John quickly took a position at Marriott’s Camelback Inn which eventually led to him working closely with the Director of Golf, Roger Maxwell, and his team of professionals with whom he formed a lifelong friendship. John subsequently did not retire from his second career until he was 80 which allowed him many more opportunities to continue to bring smiles and laughter to all that came into contact with him with his sense of humor, quick wit and penchant for nicknames. He was known affectionately and will be remembered as “Gumba” by many of his young friends. John was predeceased by his loving wife Gizella, and brothers, Ernest, Edward and William (Bill). He is survived by children Mary L. Bryg and John Robert (Christina); grandchild, Sarah, and 14 nephews and nieces. Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, January 7th 2015 at 10:00 am at the Blessed Sacrament Church, 11300 N. 64th St., Scottsdale. Interment will take place immediately following Mass at St Francis Cemetery, 48th St. & Oak, Phoenix. The family thanks the Hospice of the Valley as well as the Mayo Clinic ER/Hospital teams and Family Medicine group for their wonderful care and incredible support of our dad. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Sherman Home Hospice of the Valley (hov.org) 5801 E. Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, 85054 or the St. Vincent de Paul Society (stvincentdepaul.net) 420 Watkins Rd., Phoenix, 85003.
Jana Modisette Brictson
Our thoughts and prayers with the Hurguy family.
John, I was truly blessed to have known you. Your compassion and friendship was immeasurable. Thank you for being the person you were. May GOD’S peace and love be with you and your family. Rest in God’s loving arms my friend. Tony Canning.
John, I never met your father but I thought I knew him a bit from all the chat we had about your him and my father. Wow, what a life he led. My sympathies to you and your sister. You are in my thoughts!
John was a good man, one in a million. His wonderful attitude and sense of humor was an inspiration to me. Visits with him were a bright spot in my week. He was a true friend and will be missed. I know he is with his family and loved ones on the other side. My condolences to his family.
I wish I could have seen my Uncle Johnnie one more time, but am grateful to have seen him a few years ago. I wish we had lived closer to our Arizona Hurguys. He was the last of the four original Hurguy brothers and now they are reunited. I am proud to say he was my uncle!
Dear John, Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. Thinking of you. Lynne Hanson