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John A. Johnson Sr.

February 8, 1944 - April 17, 2018
Racine, WI

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Visitation

Saturday, April 21, 2018
9:00 AM to 10:30 AM CDT
St. Joseph's Catholic Church
1533 Erie Street
Racine, WI 53402

Service

Saturday, April 21, 2018
10:30 AM CDT
St. Joseph's Catholic Church
1533 Erie Street
Racine, WI 53402

Contributions


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.

St. Joseph's Catholic Church
1533 Erie Street
Racine, WI 53402

Life Story / Obituary


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With unending love for those around him, John Johnson, Sr. was selfless in everything he did until he drew his last breath. He was warm, outgoing, and funny with a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. John was a loving family man, and there was nothing he cherished more than being surrounded by their love. As a longtime resident of the community he loved, there were few who weren’t touched by John in some way. Life will never be the same without him here, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.

During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young servicemen and women were serving in WWII while those who remained stateside became all too familiar with rationing on common goods. It was during this eventful time that Jerome and Matilda (Schultz-Puchter) Johnson were filled with unspeakable joy as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named John Arthur on February 8, 1944, in Racine, Wisconsin. The seventh child and the baby of the family he was raised in the family home alongside his siblings, Bill, Herman, Richard, Lorrine, Joyce, and Fred. John’s father worked in a local factory while his mother had more than enough to keep her busy at home. Tragedy struck in his family with the death of his mother when John was just a young boy of seven, which left his brothers and sisters to care for him. He spent his formative years living in both Racine and Milwaukee. John attended Racine Vocational School.

New and exciting changes were in store for John when he met the young woman of his dreams. Her name was Judy K. Voelker, and they met in a rather unusual way as she was actually out on a date with one of his friends when they all got together to go bowling. John began flirting with Judy, which didn’t exactly make his friend happy. John’s friend told John that if he was going to flirt with her, then he could buy her dinner. This suited John just fine. This marked the beginning of a love story that would give way to a 46 year marriage. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, John and Judy were married on February 8, 1969, at St. Rita Catholic Church. They chose to get married on John’s birthday so that he never had an excuse for forgetting their anniversary! Together they welcomed two children, Jeanie and John Jr., into their hearts and home.

Throughout his life, John was always known as a hard worker. He preferred to work two jobs so that Judy could stay at home and look after the kids. For more than 30 years John worked seven days a week, and his work ethic was amazing. He was known for being dependable and would often work longer shifts if others called off for theirs. Monday through Friday found John working at a local factory, PDI. He walked home each day at noon where Judy would have have lunch made for him. John also worked as a security officer at St Lukes and St Mary's Hospital on the weekends. This was a job he truly enjoyed as he loved talking to the doctors and nurses and took great pride in keeping everyone safe, regularly walking the nurses and doctors to their cars after hours to ensure they arrived safely. John always looked forward to the one week that their family went to the Dells. They usually rented a kitchenette and spent a great week just hanging out together. John retired from PDI in 2005 and from his work as a security guard in 2010.

One of the greatest things about John was how generous he was. In addition to working seven days a week, he gave of his time doing for others. After working a long day, he came home and loaded the lawnmower into the trunk of the car and drove around to all of the elderly relatives and cut their grass with John Jr. John not only enjoyed taking care of people, but he also loved visiting with his extended family. During the wintertime he did the exact same thing except he was loading shovels into the truck and shoveling for those who were unable. Even on the day he passed away he pushed his call light, concerned that his roommate was in pain.

Someone who preferred to keep busy, John was a man of many interests. He was an usher at St. Joseph's Church and also belonged to UCT (United Commercial Travelers). John loved playing checkers and was really, really good at it. He never let people win, and he always said when someone eventually beat him it was because they earned it. In John’s book, earning something was always better then being given something. He enjoyed bowling and swimming, and it has been said that in his prime he could hold his breath and swim underwater for multiple pool lengths. John loved the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Milwaukee Bucks. He also enjoyed classic country music and the old westerns on television. John was a history buff, could provide random facts on presidents, and studied the Civil War in great detail. One of his favorite trips was their trip to Gettysburg. He loved looking at cars, whether in person or in car shopper magazines, and he never could leave a grocery store without grabbing their free car shopper magazine on the way out.

All who knew John would agree that he was truly one of a kind. He always had a positive attitude and loved making others laugh with his fun-loving sense of humor. John often had a joke or funny newspaper article to share since he loved putting a smile on someone’s face, especially if they were having a bad day. He could start up or carry on a conversation with anyone, and he had the amazing ability to see the positive in people no matter what. This is part of why he had recently been named as Ridgewood’s “resident of the month.”

There was no one who met John Johnson, Sr. and left unchanged. He was known for his strong work ethic, yet it was easy to see that he drank in every last drop of life that he was given. John was fully dedicated to everything he did, and there was nothing he wouldn’t do for someone else. There was no greater gift in his life than his family, and his positive attitude, fun sense of humor, and warm smile deeply impacted all who were near. Deeply loved, John will never be forgotten.

John Arthur Johnson Sr. passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at Ridgewood Care Center. John’s family includes his children, Jeanie (Gary) Eyman, John (Gail) Johnson Jr.; grandchildren, Trisha (Zoran) Micic, Tracie McDonough, Noah Johnson, Erin and Alex Eyman; in-laws, Gloria Puchter, LaVerne Puchter, Shirley (Tom) Pfeiffer, Mary Lou (Jack) Blum; special friend, Char Wilber; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many dear friends. In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his grandson, Benjamin and siblings, Bill Puchter, Herman (Betty) Puchter, Richard Puchter, Joyce (William) Ellis, Lorrine Puchter, and Fred Puchter. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, April 21, 2018, 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 1533 Erie Street, with Rev. Steve Varghese officiating. Interment will follow at West Lawn Memorial Park. Relatives and friends may meet with the family Saturday at the church. 9:00 a.m. until time of Mass. Memorials to St. Joseph Catholic Church have been suggested.

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