Barthelemy A. ‘Bart’ Arotca, 90, died Sunday, Sept. 19.
He was born in Bayonne, France of French and Spanish Basque parentage. He came to the United States with his parents and settled in San Francisco.
As a young boy he began singing on NBC radio and eventually began his training in classical voice. He was on the threshold of a promising career when World War II intervened. After service in the North African and European theaters, he returned to San Francisco and a continuation of his musical studies.
Mr. Arotca was the winner of the Gainsborough Music Foundation Auditions in 1946 and a semi-finalist of the Atwater Kent Auditions in 1947. He continued to sing professionally with orchestras and symphonies throughout the Bay Area.
After retiring from singing, he met Nancy Johnson of Dayton, Tenn. They married in 1958 and moved to Modesto. He worked for Hershey’s Food Corporation for 19 years. Upon his retirement from Hershey’s he spent several years in the volunteer service; first at Interfaith Ministries in Modesto and then at Memorial Hospital.
He is survived by his son, Barth (Wendy) Arotca; daughter, Ginny Young of Modesto; and grandsons, Andrew Arotca of Santa Clara, Brian Arotca of LaJolla and Brandon Young of Stanislaus County.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Nancy.
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 at Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Modesto.
Allen Mortuary in charge of arrangements.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
Sept. 29, 2010