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John E. "Jack" Lamers
September 18, 1942 ~ October 18, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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John E. “Jack” Lamers, age 81 of Appleton, passed away on October 18, 2023, after suffering a massive stroke. John was a faith filled man who loved the Lord, his family and church. He was born on September 18, 1942, in Kimberly, son of Jake and Marie (Weyenberg) Lamers. He grew up in Kimberly and graduated from Kimberly High School in 1961. He served in the U.S. Army from May of 1964 until May of 1966 as a Private First Class.
John married Jean Schwalenberg on October 12, 1973, at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Kaukauna. They had just celebrated 50 years of marriage (plus 6 days). They built their ranch home in the country where they raised their three sons. Early in their marriage, they gladly accepted John’s mother Marie into their home after Jake died; they cared for her for three years until her passing in 1978. John retired from Thilmany Pulp and Paper in Kaukauna after 38 years and was a member of the Quarter Century Club. His early years were spent in the Finishing Department (where he first noticed Jean), and after several position changes, he retired as a Paper Machine Oiler.
While raising their family, they enjoyed camping and tenting in various state and county parks. They also enjoyed 22 years at their waterfront property in Townsend in a mobile home affectionately called “the cottage”. After John and Jean retired in 2003, they were able to spend quality time with their first two grandchildren, Christopher, and Katie, in the Fox Valley. In 2007 they moved to Eagle River where they spent 12 wonderful years and were able to enjoy their two youngest grandchildren, Elise and Maelle. During their past 20 years of retirement, they were blessed with making new friends and memories and taking many road trips to see new sites and old friends.
John loved manicuring the different yards at both former residences and at the cottage and spent countless hours to make it “just right”. Many envious neighbors commented on the beauty of the lawn, trees, and flowers. In 2019 they moved back to the Fox Valley into an apartment, and even though it was a big change, the rest and relaxation, and not having to worry about home ownership was welcomed. John liked to ride his bike 10 to 15 miles almost daily - outside during nice weather, or indoors on his stationary bike when not – achieving a one-year milestone of two thousand twenty miles in 2020 at the age of 78. He continued riding regularly even up to the week prior to his passing.
Survivors include his wife, Jean; their three sons and four grandchildren: Scott (Susie) and their two children, Christopher and Katie; Jamon (Patience) and their two children, Elise and Maelle; and Eric (fiancé Karen Lee). He is further survived by a brother-in-law: Gary (Janet) Schwalenberg; sisters-in-law: Linda (Warren) Engel, Karen (James) Van Drasek, and Sue (Bruce) Vanderloop; Godchildren: Aaron Jakl, Tom Diestler, and Lindsey Vanderloop; five nieces: Mary (Troy) Schucknecht (and son Tom Diestler), Lori, Sheri & Jennifer Schwalenberg, and Lindsey Vanderloop; three nephews: Dan Schwalenberg (and daughter Lexi), Brett and Garret Van Drasek; and many close cousins and friends, especially his cousin Tom Weyenberg. John and Tom were like brothers to each other, as they both only had sisters.
John was preceded in death by his parents; his only sibling Elizabeth (Betty) and her husband Otto Diestler; Jean’s parents Raymond and Luanna (Welhouse) Schwalenberg; and Jean’s twin sister Joyce Schwalenberg.
Visitation and Funeral Mass will be at St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church in Little Chute, Wisconsin on Friday, October 27, 2023, with Fr. Ron Belitz officiating. Visitation will start at 9:00 AM until the time of the funeral Mass at 12:00 Noon, with full military honors to follow. Inurnment will be at St. John Nepomucene Cemetery in Little Chute, Wisconsin.
The family was truly blessed that in his final hours, John could still communicate. He shared of himself with his wit and humor still intact, listened to a special song, and participated in prayer. God had many blessings as we were saying our good-byes including a beautiful red maple tree directly outside the hospital window, a lovely sunset, and a rainbow. He was surrounded by his family as he went to his heavenly home. We will be forever grateful.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial will be established to place a park bench on a local biking trail.
A special thank you to the nurses and staff at the Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton for the care and compassion given to John and his family.