Life-long Merrill resident John English passed away on Sunday, January 1, 2012, in the comfort of his own home, surrounded by the woman who was fortunate enough to be his wife and the six children who were lucky enough to call him Dad. He will be forever missed by his family as well as his many friends and acquaintances.
To say that John was an avid sports fan is an understatement, as he followed almost every Merrill High School sport, especially enjoyed watching the many Bluejay athletes that were his own children and grandchildren. Whether he was watching wrestling matches, swim or tennis meets, basketball, volleyball, hockey, soccer, softball, baseball, and football games, or barrel racing competitions, John and his wife, Marge, were the best fans ever, always anxious to give loving hugs afterwards to their sweaty athletes. When his children and grandchildren moved on to college, he was always politically correct when they visited, wearing the baseball cap and attire of their college.
John himself was an outstanding athlete at Merrill High School, lettering in football and basketball. He was a member of Merrill’s Silver M Club, receiving both a Silver and Golden M. John served as Honorary Captain of the Bluejay football game on September 1, 2006. He went on to play football for the University of Wisconsin Badgers and was a member of the team that met President Harry Truman at the White House in 1945. He continued to play softball for many years “as long as he took Tom along.” He volunteered his time for the Merrill Little League program as an umpire and treasurer for many years.
Born on September 20, l927, to Prentiss and Helen (Nugent) English, John and his two brothers, Phil and Roger (Budda), along with their sister Audree (Ronis) grew up on East Street in Merrill, and John has shared many wonderful and humorous stories about his life there. He met his perfect match in Marge Lindquist and married her on June 11, 1949. In 1951, John and Marge moved into what was to be their beloved home for the next sixty years. John loved to sit on his front porch and watch all the traffic go by, and he knew almost everyone that passed. To his last days, John sat in his chair and watched the comings and goings on Grand Avenue.
John served in the United States Army in the Occupation Forces after World War II. He worked for many years for Lindquist Motors, Whitburn Motors, and retired in 1993 as Executive Director of the Merrill Housing Authority.
John is survived by his wife of sixty-two years, Marge, as well as his son, Tom, and five daughters: Julie (Roger) Wendorf; Jean (Dan) Bowen; Katie (Jim) Krause; Sue (Scott) VanDerGeest; and Cindy (John) Pintens. All his children reside in Merrill except Katie, who lives in Madison, CT. He is also survived by eleven grandchildren who adored him: Marcy (Adam) Christensen, Dan (Jenny) Wendorf, and Mike (Brooke) Wendorf; Andy, Brad and Kristin VanDerGeest; Jonathan Krause; Brittany and Lacey Bowen; and Kelsey and Katie Pintens. His great-grandchildren rounded out the family picture: Riley and Morgan Christensen, Sophie and Cooper Wendorf, and a great grandchild on the way. John is survived by his brother, Roger (Lenore) English, sister-in-law, Margaret English, and brother-in-law, Tom (Kathy) Lindquist, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Prentiss; his mother, Helen; brother Phil; sister Audree Ronis, infant sister Dorothy, and brother-in-law, Leonard Ronis. Also preceding him were his father- and mother-in law, Harold and Alice Lindquist.
As any of John’s grandchildren would say, “I could never have had a better grandpa and grandma.” Each of his children and grandchildren was special to him and he loved them dearly. John embodied what love can mean in a family. He was kind and generous, humorous, willing to do anything for anyone, friendly, loved polkas and Johnny Cash, Pepsi, and long lunches with his family. He always had a special place in his heart for the neighbors and their Keg Club. His kind heart has certainly earned him a place in Heaven.
Services for John will be held at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 300 Logan Street in Merrill, on Wednesday, January 4, at 6:00 p.m. Family and friends can visit at the church from 2:00 until the time of services on Wednesday. Burial will take place Thursday morning at Merrill Memorial Park Cemetery, with graveside military rites conducted by the Merrill V.F.W. Post 1638 Honor Guard. Memorials can be made to the Merrill High School athletic program of your choice or to the Merrill Silver M Scholarship Fund or the Silver M Football Fund.
Online condolences may be made at www.taylorstinefuneralhome.com