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Jack Jennerjahn

October 2, 2018 | 1 comment

Jack Jennerjahn died at his home in La Crosse, Wisconsin on September 23, 2018. He was 83 years old. Jack was born on April 1st, 1935 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the son of Ervin and Helen Jennerjahn. After growing up and graduating from high school in Milwaukee, Jack went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was a member of the Badgers marching band. Also, an ROTC student at Madison, Jack went on to become a lieutenant in the U.S. Army and served honorably at various locations, including several years at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Being a Wisconsin Badger was lifelong source of pride for Jack, and he eventually returned to his beloved University to begin graduate work. After obtaining a Master’s Degree from Madison, Jack began a career in television education that would last for 50 years. His educational career took him to a variety of locations, including the University of Minnesota. It was at the University of Minnesota that he met and married Donna Jennerjahn, the mother of his four children. Jack and Donna moved to Bozeman, Montana when Jack took a position at Montana State University. Tragically, Donna died from epilepsy in 1976 and Jack was forced to become a single parent.

Jack continued to move up the management career ladder with successive jobs. He brought his young children with him to his next position at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Jack made many wonderful friendships in Alabama, and his children enjoyed growing up in The South. But eventually Jacks heart yearned for his home state, and he took a promotion to a new position at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and moved his family north.

Jack spent over a decade at UWGB before making the final move of his educational career, to Western Wisconsin Technical Institute in La Crosse (now known as Western Tech), where he worked for another decade before finally retiring. In his free time after retirement, Jack renewed his passionate love for music, and played in a local band in La Crosse known as the “Grumpy Old Men”. He loved being a part of that musical family.

Jack was preceded in death by his first wife, Donna; and also by his second wife, Sue. Jack is survived by his children, Philip (Sara) Jennerjahn and Jarrett Jennerjahn of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Aaron Jennerjahn and Lara (Mike) Savage of Tucson, Arizona; his step-daughter, Tonya (Paul) Melkus of Hinsdale Illinois and her family; his brother, Warren “Pete” Jennerjahn of Long Island, New York; nephew and niece, Hans and Ann Jennerjahn also of Long Island, New York; his grandchildren, Jordan and Mia Jennerjahn of Green Bay, Wisconsin and Augustus Jack Savage of Tucson, Arizona. Jack will also be dearly missed by his girlfriend, Mary Jo Deaver of Huntsville, Alabama.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 13th at 11:30 am at French Island Cemetery in La Crosse. A Celebration of Life will follow on Saturday, October 13th from 12:30pm to 2:00 pm at Coulee Region Cremation Group, 133 Mason St., Onalaska. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in memory of Jack to your favorite charity.


1 Comment

  1. Gene Purcell

    I was so sorry to learn of Jack’s passing. While at WLSU-FM, the public radio station on the UW-La Crosse campus, I worked with Jack on a variety of public affairs and public services broadcasts from the studios at the WWTC campus.

    Jack was a great professional and a great person to work with and I’d like to extend my condolences to his family – he will be missed.

    With sympathy,

    Gene Purcell
    Wisconsin Public Media
    Madision, WI


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