College of Agriculture

Jack and Maxine Vanella

The School of Agriculture presented its 6th Annual Hall of Honor Award in memory of Jack and Maxine Vanella for many years of support to the agriculture industry and to the School of Agriculture. Jack and Maxine were married in 1937, and Maxine graduated from Los Molinos High School in 1938. Before the war, the Vanellas had two children, Thomas Frank in 1938 and Jacqueline in 1943. During World War II Jack served in the Navy and was stationed on Treasure Island. In 1945 another son, Robert, was born. Jack returned to Chico after the war, and worked for the Harry A. Brown Feed company, which eventually became Butte Feed and Warehouse. He also became a partner in the business.

In 1952, the twins, Cheryl and Daryl were born. Both Jack and Maxine became involved in many local organizations. In 1947, Maxine was installed as the Worthy Matron of Easter Star. Jack joined the Elks and served as Exalted Ruler in 1959 and did a lot of traveling in that capacity. Maxine served as President of the Chico Art Club, known as Jr. Art, which later became the Chico Women’s Club. She served as the President of the Quota Club in Chico in 1973 and then as District Governor in 1980. She was also a member of Native Daughters of the Golden West.

Jack was an active member of the Native Sons of the Golden West. He was a member of the Grange Association where he served as a loan officer for farm loans. He was also a director of the California Hay Grain and Feed Association, and served on the Board of Directors for the TB Association. Jack served as chair of the first Nut Equipment Expo held at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in 1970 and headed the Agricultural Development Committee of the Greater Chico Chamber of Commerce.

 In 1961, Jack opened his own business, Vanella’s Farm Store, at 5th and Cedar Streets in Chico. The family business is now Jack’s Orchard Supply.