John "Jack" Joseph SchmitzMay 13, 1927 ~ July 3, 2017 (age 90)
John “Jack” Joseph Schmitz, 90, formerly of La Crosse and Cudahy, WI, passed away on July 3, 2017. Jack was born May 13, 1927 in Ferndale, MI, the son of John Peter and Estella “Stella” Mary (McDonald) Schmitz. He was a 1944 graduate of Aquinas High School in La Crosse. Jack served in the United States Army during WWII, and was stationed at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, TX where he was a Physical Training Instructor. On August 28, 1948, Jack married Mary Ann Anderson in La Crosse. Jack enjoyed playing basketball on local teams, in college and while in the Army. After graduating from the La Crosse State Teachers College in 1951, Jack and Mary Ann moved to Cudahy where he taught, coached, and was an active union member in the Cudahy School System until 1988. Jack earned his Master of Education Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His summers were spent working for the Milwaukee County Park System.
After retirement, Jack and Mary Ann moved to La Crosse. There they purchased what came to be called the “Tree Farm”. The Tree Farm was a place where Jack and Mary Ann went to relax, hike and build huge bonfires. Jack enjoyed rides on his tractors, thus, his loving nickname “Grandpa Tractor”. It gave them great pleasure to share the land with family and friends.
Jack resided in La Crosse until 2011. He was a member of the American Legion Post #52 and Eagles Aerie #1254 where he enjoyed spending time with friends.
Jack is survived by his four children, Barbara (Philip) Woller of Indianapolis, IN, Sue (Dale) Jenkins of DeForest, WI, Mary Kaye Christensen of South Milwaukee, WI and John Schmitz (Allison) of La Crosse, WI; grandchildren, Sarah (Addison) Fry, Paul (Shannon) Woller, Teresa (Christian) Pallas, Erica (Brent) Bartholomew, Katie (Brad) Spalding, Michael Christensen, Mary E. Christensen, Jill (Jeff) Brunner, John Schmitz, Rebecca Schmitz, Daniel Schmitz and Kyle Schmitz; 14 great-grandchildren; brother, Donald (Mary) Schmitz; and many nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Mary Ann; and daughter, Cheryl.
A Celebration of Life/Visitation will be held from 11–1 p.m. on Monday, July 24, 2017 at Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home, 200 West Avenue S, LaCrosse. A private burial service at Gate of Heaven Cemetery will follow. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
Ryan Funeral Home
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