Jack Streidl

December 7, 1918 - April 16, 2012
Plainwell, MI



Friday, April 20, 2012
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Performing Art Center at the high school
684 102nd Ave
Plainwell, MI 49080

A Rosary will be held at 7 PM at the Performing Art Center.


Saturday, April 21, 2012
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
Performing Art Center at the high school
684 102nd Ave
Plainwell, MI 49080


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Wings of Hope Hospice
530 Linn Street, Suite A
Allegan, MI 49010
(269) 686-8659
Driving Directions
Web Site

The Wings Home
330 Linn
Allegan, MI 49010

Jack and Phyllis Streidl Scholarship Fund
524 Marshall Street
Allegan, MI 49010

Checks: Allegan County Community Foundation (ACCF)


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Plainwell Flowers
117 S. Main
Plainwell, MI 49080
(269) 685-8055
Driving Directions
Web Site

River Rose
(269) 692-3951

Life Story / Obituary


Although he accomplished so much of which to be proud, John “Jack” Streidl was a humble man whose greatest source of pride and joy was his beloved family. He shared nearly 70 years with the love of his life by his side, exemplifying the beautiful design of marriage in its purest form. Jack was a man of great strength and character who inspired students and athletes alike to be the best they could be whether in the classroom, in front of spectators, or when no one was looking. He was steadfast in his beliefs and never wavered in his convictions, a reflection of true character. The shining legacy Jack leaves behind will be carried on by the many generations who follow him.

Nearly a century has passed since our nation was deeply entrenched in the throes of WWI. Although President Woodrow Wilson had declared that “America was too proud to fight,” repeated hostile actions that could not be ignored engaged us in the fight for the preservation of freedom in 1917. It was as the following year was coming to a close that a young couple from Menominee, Michigan, was eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby. Their wait was over on December 7th of that year when their healthy baby boy drew his first breath. John Robert was the second oldest of four children born to his parents, John M. and Caroline S. Streidl. He was raised in the family home in Menominee, located in the southern region of the Upper Peninsula, alongside his siblings: Mary, Betty and Bill. Jack, as he was most often known, attended local schools, graduating from Menominee High School in 1936.

With his high school education behind him, Jack went on to Western Michigan University for four years where he was a starter on the 1941 undefeated football team. For four years Jack was also a heavyweight boxing and wrestling champion, and he even won the Michigan Golden Gloves boxing title. Additionally, he was the freshman decathlon champion on the school’s track team.

Although the United States hoped to remain neutral as WWII raged on overseas, the hostilities landed on our doorstep on December 7, 1941, with the vicious attack at Pearl Harbor. The very next day President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war, and this was the same day that Jack joined the Navy. He went to midshipmen’s school at Columbia University in New York, graduating on December 2, 1942. Jack served as a naval officer in the Aleutian Islands and Okinawa during WWII for the following four years. He then spent two more years at sea during the Korean Conflict after having four children.

Life truly began for Jack when he met his true love, Phyllis Jane Miller of Comstock, at Western Michigan University. At the time he was doing some groundskeeping and proudly held up a nightcrawler declaring that spring had finally sprung. A dating relationship ensued, and on December 5, 1942, Jack married his sweetheart at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church in Kalamazoo. Together they were blessed with eight children: Jock, Diana, Cynthia, Rebecca, Margo, Joan, Cam, and Pat.

As his friends and family can attest Jack loved Plainwell right from the start. A teaching position at Plainwell High School brought him to the area in November of 1945, and he immediately fell in love with the school system, the people, and the town itself. Jack continued to teach at the high school, and he also coached and there for over 40 years in football, basketball, and track. In addition, he served as the athletic director during this same time. He was very successful as a coach, too, as his teams won 75 percent of the games they played under his direction. Jack served the Plainwell Schools until he retired in 1985 at the age of 67.

Throughout his life Jack was a huge supporter of Plainwell schools. He sent all eight of his children there in addition to the three grandchildren he and Phyllis raised. All of his eight children and these three grandchildren went on to graduate from college as well. Jack and his wife also extended their tender loving care to her mother, Carmelita Miller, whom they took into their home where they cared for her throughout the last eight years of her life.

A sports enthusiast throughout his entire life, athletics were always a vital part of Jack’s journey. He was accomplished as an athlete, a coach, and for his humanitarian efforts, too. Jack’s name has a place in the Upper Peninsula Hall of Fame, the Western Michigan Athletic Hall of Fame, 1980, and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame, 2004.

Jack was usually one to keep busy. A firm believer in education, he eventually earned his master’s degree from the University of Michigan. With his time off he loved going to the family cottage on Lake 16 where he could often be found doing yard work. With his competitive side, Jack always loved playing cards and spent many hours doing so with his buddies both at home and at coaching conferences.

Through the life of John Streidl we are reminded that life is not about what we have, but about what we give. He devoted his days to treating those around him with respect, kindness, and unconditional acceptance. Jack was a true gentleman if ever there was one, and a devoted family man who never shied away from helping someone in need. The memories he leaves behind are a gift that will remain forever near and dear to the hearts of those who follow him.

John “Jack” Streidl died on Monday, April 16, 2012. Jack’s family includes his children: Jonathan “Jock” (Gigi) Streidl, of Seattle, WA; Cynthia (Mike) Young, of Buchanan, MI; Rebecca (Jim) Burnett, of Allegan; Margo (Larry) Strodtman, of Indianapolis; Joan (Fred) Gardner, of Naples, FL; Cam (Susan) Streidl, of Grand Rapids; Pat (Shea) Streidl, of Costa Mesa, CA; 22 grandchildren; 30 great grandchildren; siblings: Mary Agnes Del Monte, of Chicago, IL; Elizabeth S. Degenaar, of Spring Lake; and Joseph William Streidl of Houston, TX. Jack was preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis in 2010 and one daughter, Diana in 1973. The family will receive friends on Friday from 4-7 p.m. at the Plainwell Performing Art Center at the high school. A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Plainwell Performing Art Center at the high school. Private burial will be held at St. Margaret’s Cemetery. Please visit Jack’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can sign his memory book online. Those who wish may make a memorial donation to the Jack and Phyllis Streidl Scholarship Fund, Wings of Hope Hospice and/or The Wings Home. The family is being assisted by Life Story Funeral Homes, 120 S. Woodhams, Plainwell (685-5881).