Obituary for John E. Verhelst | Ryan Funeral Homes
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John E. Verhelst

January 2, 1949 ~ June 6, 2019 (age 70)

MADISON-On June 6, 2019, our loving husband, Dad, Papa, brother, friend and coach, John E. Verhelst, age 70, died peacefully after courageously battling cancer for 19 months.  While we are deeply saddened by his absence, we rejoice in the blessings and significant memories he brought to all our lives.  John was a spiritual, caring, kind, passionate person who deeply loved and was loved by his family, his wife, Suzy, his two sons, Jason (Paige) and Rob (Nicole), and his five exceptionally wonderful grandchildren, Alexa, Maya, Avery, Payton and Noah.  John is additionally survived by his dear brother, Greg (Mary) and their daughters, Jamie, Megan and Kaitlyn and families. John’s happiest times were always those spent with his family, for they were the center of his life.

John loved teaching and coaching, spending 3 years at Edgewood High School, 30 years at Monona Grove High School, 3 years at Madison College, and 4 years at Lecanto High School in Florida.  He taught Physical Education and History, and coached hundreds of incredible student athletes in football, basketball and track and field over the span of his professional career.  He loved his students and athletes, rejoicing in their accomplishments, considering them part of his family.  John would want to be remembered, not for his numerous athletic, teaching and coaching accomplishments, but for his devotion to his family and his students/athletes and the love he had for his friends.

His last 19 months were marked by the compassionate care of Dr. David Hei and the staff at The Carbone Cancer Center, superb caregivers at Meriter Hospital, UW Radiation, and finally Agrace Hospice. Station #2 firefighters and paramedics were phenomenally responsive with great care at numerous times.  Thank you also to all the friends and relatives who provided meals, came to visit, and provided support to our family. Loving thanks to family members, Dr. Dennis Ostrem, Cynthia Ostrem, and Dr. Jonathan Ostrem for their care and support.

There will be a Celebration of Life on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 starting at 5:30 PM with a service at 6:30 PM at Dahmen’s at Hawks Landing.

In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to The Carbone Cancer Center or Agrace HospiceCare, Inc.

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Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services

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