John Milton Canty

January 08, 1935 - July 01, 2024


Obituary For John Milton Canty

John Milton Canty, known to his friends as Jack, passed away at the age of eighty-nine on July 1, 2024, in Madison, Wisconsin. John was born on January 8, 1935, to Opal Ayres and William Kotelman. John grew up in Chicago, where he married and raised his family before moving to California. After retirement and later in life, John moved to Omaha, Nebraska and then settled in Madison, Wisconsin.

John served in the military with the United States Army. After his service, John went on to work at The Chicago Beauty Shop Equipment Company with his beloved stepdad, Danny Brown. John then began a long-time career as a bus driver and a bus driver instructor. He was highly regarded for his skill at teaching the new bus drivers and he continued to do so for many years even after his formal retirement. John always had countless stories about the interesting people he would meet and conversations that he would have on his bus routes.

John married Judy Hay and together they raised their family. After Judy’s passing in 1990, John married Patricia Spears. John was a devoted father, known for always fiercely protecting his kids and providing for his family. John loved spending time during summer vacations with ‘The Group’; he enjoyed participating in (and he won many) bus rodeos; and he loved to tell a story about how he knew seven ways to sneak into Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs play. If he was asked about his birthday, he would first answer that he was born on the very same day as Elvis before giving you the actual date. Whenever he came across a situation or a person that seemed unusual to him, he would simply raise his one very expressive eyebrow and respond with ‘what a dipstick.’ He was always a comedian.

John was pre-deceased by his parents, Judy, and Patricia, as well as his siblings Herb and Colleen. His memory will be held in the hearts of his surviving family: daughter Sherrie (Robbie), son John (Ellie), daughter Cathy (Kelly), his grandchildren Judy (Nic), Corey, Caitlynn, Jamie, Renee, Jacob (Malakih) and his great-grandchildren Nevaeh, Bentley, Silas, and Ryder.

John will be laid to rest as he wished at the San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside California in the fall.

In lieu of flowers, the family would suggest a donation to either the Alzheimer's Association or to the Madison-Wm S Middleton VA Hospital at

To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services

2418 N Sherman Ave


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  • July 07, 2024

    He was a great man

  • July 07, 2024

    He was a wonderful man

  • July 05, 2024

    On behalf of the Badger Honor Flight Board and all our volunteers, we extend our deepest condolences to you all, the family of John Canty. We are forever grateful and thankful for John's service to our great country. What an honor it was for us to take him on his well-deserved trip of a lifetime. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • July 05, 2024

    My condolences and prayers for the family during this difficult time. Steve Mondy

  • July 04, 2024

    Mr. Canty was the best — a true one-of-a-kind gentleman who, along with Mrs. Judith Canty, raised three amazing children. It has been our great privilege to have known your entire family for all these years. We mourn your loss and grieve alongside you. May your father rest in eternal peace.

  • July 03, 2024

    So sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers. Brenda

  • July 03, 2024

    I loved my cousin, Jack, and he always held a special place in my heart. I always enjoyed listening to his stories. My deepest condolences to his family.

  • July 03, 2024

    John and Gt out in the NCTD Bus yard Training students on how to drive the big 40 foot long North County Transit Buses 🚌

  • July 03, 2024

    I'm deeply sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Mike Schmutzok

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Tiffany Foster went out of her way to fulfill all my requests, talked me through problems I was facing, and tried to make me feel as comfortable as possible when I was a wreck, totally crushed, and I thank her with all of my heart for that.

James S. | July 2020

The professional manner of the staff made a difficult time a little easier.

Lynda R. | July 2020

Services provided for both parents were perfect, on time, and no issues. Brenda is awesome and strong!

Michael M. | July 2020

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Brooke S. | Dec. 2020

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