John Nicholas Straetz



Strengthened with the Sacraments, John passed into eternal life in Christ on Father’s Day, June 21, 2020 at Park Manor in Park Falls, Wisconsin.  John was born on April 9, 1930 in Glidden, Wisconsin, the youngest child of Nicholas and Ottilie (Herzberg) Straetz.


He graduated in the Glidden High School Class of 1948 and joined the US Army, where he made Sergeant.  After his military service, he spent a few years driving Greyhound bus and working in the Wisconsin Northwoods and in the wood business in Portland, Oregon.


John then had a 35-year career with the USDA Forest Service, cruising timber and managing timber sales as a Forestry Technician.  While with the Forest Service, he spent four years as a program manager for the Young Adult Conservation Corps in Clam Lake, fought forest fires in the western US, entertained the crowds as Smokey Bear in 4th of July parades and other events, and retired in 1990.


John was elected to 18 years on the Glidden School Board, several as president, and was involved in the school building committee to add classrooms and the new gymnasium as well as rebuilding after the 1985 fire.  Most importantly, he was fortunate to hand all five of his children their high school diplomas.


Also during his federal career, John was a defensive driving instructor and had side jobs selling Mason shoes and Electrolux vacuum cleaners.  He served on the parish council and as usher at Most Precious Blood Parish and worked the Father’s Day picnic.


John was preceded in death by wife Geraldine and wife Michaeline, parents Nick and Tillie, brothers George, Donald, and Frank, sister Yvonne, three siblings who died early, daughter Cheryl, and daughter-in-law Janis, and many relatives and friends.


He is survived by children Nick, Amy (Dale) Gorney, Michael (Renee), and Jennifer (Mike) Kesler, eight grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.


John was honest, hard-working, frugal, conscientious, strong, determined, generous and friendly.  He loved to swap stories with friends while running errands to Schroeder’s Hardware, Druschke’s Drug Store, and around town.  He always advocated for the students in Glidden.  He put safety first, gave his children and grandchildren good life lessons and taught them to be family-oriented, honest, practical, and fair.  He treated company generously and was always willing to volunteer and help in his community.


John loved fishing, hunting, boxing, changing his own oil in the car, taking Sunday drives in the woods, telling his kids to be quiet while the news was on, butter brickle ice cream, chocolate malts, and chocolate chip cookies.  More than anything, John loved his family.


Birch Street (Novitzke) Funeral Service is assisting the family with services in Glidden.  Visitation and viewing at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 2nd, 2020, and Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. at Most Precious Blood Church.  Interment with military honors at Most Precious Blood Cemetery, and luncheon in the parish hall to follow.