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John Paul Ward

March 12, 2021 | 8 comments

John Ward of Onalaska died on March 10, 2021 of Parkinson’s complications. He passed away peacefully at Gundersen Medical Center with family at his side.

John was born November 17, 1945 in Huron, South Dakota to Roger and Peggy Ward and grew up in Richfield, Minnesota. He graduated from Winona State University in Business Administration. John served in the Navy and was a Vietnam veteran. His last tour of duty was SHAPE headquarters in Belgium. John had a long career in business and sales. John had a passion for golf. He loved being on a golf course with his buddies and his sons. He was an avid Bob Dylan fan. John greatly enjoyed the companionship of his dogs as well.

John was preceded in death by his father, Roger, mother, Peggy, and his brother, Bob.

He is survived by his wife, Kay; sons, Chris (Leah) and Greg (Mariah); grandchildren, Manning, Cadence, Colston, Arya and Layla; brothers, David (Debbie), Paul (Karin); sisters, Susan (Jeff) and Jane (Rick).

A memorial service will be held at a later date due to family availability and COVID.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be sent to Gundersen Palliative Care, 1836 South Avenue, La Crosse, WI 54601-9927 or the Coulee Region Humane Society, 911 Critter Court, Onalaska, WI 54650.

Coulee Region Cremation Group is assisting the family.



  1. Doug Huggett

    I will surely miss a good and genuine friend in John. We have been blessed to share many good and pleasant times and special events. Our ringing in the new year each year in a low key, but often hilarious affair for these last many many years, with just the six of us will be treasured forever. Now we are down to four. I offer my sincere condolences to you Kay, Chris & Reah, Greg & Mariah, and those special Grandchildren on the passing of this kind, gentle and soft spoken man. RIP John, as you sail the eternal waters.

    • Kay

      Thanks, Doug. Your words are greatly appreciated. John would have loved them.

    • Doug Huggett

      I apologize to Leah for typing “R”eah in my earlier comments!

  2. Karla Manke Johnson

    Our sincere sympathy to you with the loss of John. As Doug said, he truth was a gentle man with a heart of gold. We would see him at Jen’s parties. He will be greatly missed. With our sympathy and love.

  3. Karla Manke Johnson

    Our sincere sympathy with the loss of John. He truly was a gentle man. He will be missed. Our love and peace to you.

  4. Mark Bertrang

    I’ll miss the chats John and I had each year around Thanksgiving as we enjoyed one another’s company during of office annual pie day. John would always provide me with the highlights from the family and until recent years his golfing on the greens. His smile will be missed and his presence even more.

    I can across a poem recently from Robert Browning Hamilton, that read –

    “I walked a mile with Pleasure;
    She chatted all the way;
    but left me none the wiser
    For all She had to say.

    I walked a mile with Sorrow,
    And ne’er a word said she;
    But, Oh! The things I learned from her,
    When Sorrow walked with me.”

    Kay, you are fortunate to have the close friends and family to walk alongside you, during this most difficult time. My John’s memory bring you comfort.


  5. Rick and Maureen Boenigk

    So sorry for your loss Kay and family. John was such a nice man. We have always enjoyed you as neighbors and visiting when working outside.

  6. Rodger and Diane Bean

    So sorry for your loss Kay, I so enjoyed running into John at Sam’s Club. We would visit and he always asked about the family and how they were doing.
    He was a great guy and will be missed.
    Our deepest Sympathy to you and the family.

    Diane and Rodger

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