MADISON – John A. Nash, age 78, passed away Sunday, November 7, 2021. John was born on September 13, 1943 to Andrew and Juanita Nash. John grew up having great adventures during his childhood days spent at his family farm on Nash Ridge in Ferryville, WI and on the Mississippi River in Prairie du Chien, WI.
John enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 and went on to serve his country in the Vietnam War. He was a helicopter crew chief and was awarded a Bronze Star and an Air Medal for heroism amongst other honors. He continued his service in the Army National Guard & Federal Civil Service for over 30 years as a helicopter crew chief. His kids have great memories of time spent visiting the helicopters while he was working at Truax Field in Madison, WI.
His passion was in stock car racing both as a driver and as a crew chief. He was Nascar racer Dick Trickle’s long time crew chief as he was up and coming in the short tracks of Wisconsin. Every Sunday you’d find him watching the races. He passed away as the season finale championship race was starting, getting a front row seat to watch from heaven. You had a good ride, Little John.
John and his wife Karen celebrated 50 years of marriage this past May. They had 3 kids and he was the best dad, just the best dad who did so much for his kids, they were his life. And not just to his own kids; he treated his nieces and nephews as special as his own kids and has left our family with wonderful childhood memories.
John was a simple man, who didn’t need or ask for much. He loved life and he loved his family. He loved a good meal, a good laugh, and a nice conversation. He loved being a mechanic and tinkering with all of his beloved cars. His family will remember him for making them late because he was always pulling over to help strangers on the side of the road if a car was broken down. He loved his dogs, he rescued all 5 of his Dachshunds he had through the years and spoiled them rotten.
He leaves behind his wife Karen; children, Shawn, Joshua (Michelle), and Nikki (Jonathan) Karlen; grandchildren, Callan & Ava Karlen; mother, Juanita; and sisters, Janice (Gary) LaRue, Joan Watkins, Candice Doucette, and Lori Nash. He is preceded in death by his dad, Andrew; his twin sister, Judy McGrath; brother-in-law, Paul Watkins.
John spent the last over 10 years of his life very ill with multiple medical issues, beating the odds so many times, he fought a good long fight. Through it all he never lost his happy go lucky spirit. To many friends and family he is admired for his strength and upbeat attitude during this time. He spent so much of this time at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital. There he found a community among fellow veterans and hospital staff that he came to know through the years. John and his family can never fully express their deep gratitude for the care everyone from the doctors to the nurses to the nursing assistants to the van drivers provided to him. Without a doubt the exceptional care they gave to him allowed him to continue living all these years, allowing him more time to be with his family and get to know his grandkids. The family also wants to thank the caring staff at Davita Dialysis in Sun Prairie.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:30 AM on Saturday, November 13, 2021 at RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 2418 N. Sherman Avenue, Madison. A visitation will be held from 10-11:30 AM until time of service on Saturday at the funeral home. Feel free to come in a flannel shirt and your favorite pair of old blue jeans as that’s what he’ll be wearing in heaven listening to his old-time country radio. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services
2418 N. Sherman Avenue
To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral store.