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Marcel “Jack” Sobotta

October 11, 2023 | 29 comments

Marcel J “Jack” Sobotta 94 of Holmen WI went home to meet Jesus, his Lord and Savior on October 9, 2023 at home, surrounded by his loving family. He was born on August 27, 1929, to Joseph & Mary Sobotta. On July 13, 1957, he married Ethel Pientok, wife of 66 years, at St Peter & Paul’s Church, in Independence, WI.

As a young man, Marcel attended St. Stanislaus grade school and then onto Arcadia High School. He served in the Korean war from 1953 – 1955 ranked as CPL. Marcel J. Sobotta. His assignments were prisoner exchange between North & South Korea. Military decorations include; Korean Service Ribbon, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.  He continued his service, enlisting in the Army Reserves until 1961.

Marcel “Jack” & Ethel operated a Family Dairy Farms for 9 years,  inclusive of raising crops, milking cows, and running & maintaining all farm machinery & buildings. Marcel then attended Winona Area Vocational Technical School where he earned his certification in Auto Body Repair and started a job at Eversole Auto Body in La Crosse, then onto Denson’s Auto Body before he started his own business, “Sobotta, Auto Body” through 1983.

Jack & Ethel played music for over 65 years involving the entire Sobotta family in the band known as “The Joyful Sounds.”  He also served as President of  the Regional Wisconsin Country Music Association in the late 70’s. Jack’s musical interest & talents took him in a different direction. He attended Red Wing Vocational-Technical Institute where he became a Certified Instrumental Band Repair Technician. He worked at SSE Music until his retirement.

Jack & Ethel also formed a gospel band, “Hope Ministries.”  They received a Service Award from Mulder Heath Care Facility in 2000. In 2008, Jack was presented the Community Volunteer Leadership Award and also received the Citizen Appreciation Award from the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department in 2011 in recognition for nearly 30 years serving in the La Crosse County Jail Ministry Program. “Hope Ministries” was also involved with the Prison Ministries within the tri-state area.

Community Involvement include;  In 1997, Jack received his Membership Certificate at River’s Harvest Church and then in 2003 he received his General Ministerial License which lead to receiving his Lay Pastor certificate in 2008 at River’s Harvest Church as well.

“Jack” is survived by his Wife Ethel, children; Gerald Sobotta (Pamela) of Onalaska, Lynn (David) McCree of Arkansas, Ronald (Paula) Sobotta of Whitehall, Cathy (Tom) McClintock of Onalaska, and Rose (Gary) Roghers of Onalaska, WI. Grandchildren; Jamie (Nate) Wojciechowski, Lindsey Sobotta, Jared (Kristi) Sobotta. Great-Grandchildren; Eliot Wojciechowski and Allison Wojciechowski. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and numerous extended families.

“Jack” was preceded in death by one infant son Joey,  his parents Joseph & Mary Sobotta, sisters; Clara, Jenny, Irene, Adeline, brothers; Conrad, Eugene, Cyril, Clarence & Everest “Bud” Sobotta, Thomas & Catherine Pientok (father & mother in-law), brothers in-law; Bernard & Leonard Pientok.

He will be sadly missed, but will always now & forever, remain in our hearts!

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at The Gathering Place, 133 Mason St., Onalaska.  Pastor Andy LeFebre will officiate.  Military Honors will be held by the Onalaska American Legion Post 336 and the United States Army Honors Detail.  Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service.

The Family would like to extend sincere thanks to the doctors, nurses, and staff at Gundersen Hospice for their excellent care and compassion!



  1. Dan Franck

    May God give you all comfort during this difficult time . Jack was the greatest ! One of the best men I’ve ever known ! He is surely a huge pillar in Gods kingdom and in heaven.

    Sincerely, Dan Franck

    • Sobotta’s

      Thank you for the kind words and prayers.

  2. Ken Pinski

    Sobotta family, so sorry to hear about Jack’s passing. I am sure he was well prepared for his next steps. When I was a young believer back in the 1990’s it was always good to have Jack around. Then in later years even when we didn’t see each other that much it was as though I just talked to him the day before. We were all very blessed to have had Jack in our lives.

    • Sobotta’s

      Thank you for the thoughts and prayers,

    • Sobotta’s

      Thank you so much

  3. Mary Jo Sanchez

    You and Ethyl counceled with me and gave me a verse to remember…Philipeons 4..6 it changed my life…thankyou for your kindness…back in the late 1970s


    • Lynn

      Thank you Mary Jo

  4. Lisa Morehouse

    Our sincere condolences to Ethel and the entire family, heaven gained another beautiful angel, and he will be deeply missed, and forever remembered. We will always remember Jack’s smile, his love for Jesus, his kindness, and his uplifting phone calls to say hello; ending with “We love you and Jesus love you too!” Jack was such a blessing to our family, we are forever grateful for that, and will cherish every memory. Sending our love, prayers, and deepest sympathy to you Ethel and your family. With love & God Bless!
    Lisa, Andy, Annora, & Loralie Morehouse

    • Sobotta’s

      Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

  5. Judy LaFond

    Our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

    The LaFond family.

    • Lynn

      Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! The Sobotta Family

  6. Vicky Bosworth

    Sobotta family – so very sorry for your loss. Sending prayers to all.

    • Soboyya’s

      Thank you

  7. Hubbard Family

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you! Find solace in the fact that he is resting peacefully in God’s arms.

    • Sobotta’s

      Thank you so much.

  8. Barbara Nice

    Dear Sobotta family, please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers for comfort, peace and love as you celebrate Jack’s life now and in the coming years. I didn’t know Jack; but I do know Gerald. Learning about Jack’s accomplishments in life didn’t surprise me as his family is a testament to his unselfish gifts of love. Blessings, Barbara Nice

    • Sobotta’s

      Thank you very much.

  9. Mary Ann Johnson

    Ethel, I’m sorry to hear about Jack’s passing. I’m sorry that I won’t be able to join you at his memorial. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May God Bless you and your family.

    Love, Mary Ann

    • Sobotta’s

      Thank you Mary Ann.

  10. Rita Sobotta

    We were sorry to learn that Uncle Jack passed away. He was a man with a strong faith and will be missed by many. Please accept our deepest condolences. Rita, Sharon, Tricia, and families.

    • Sobotta’s

      Thank you so much Rita.

  11. Tom

    Sabots family,
    Sorry to hear of your loss.
    Kind and likeable man who would help out anyone. He helped me
    when I needed help years ago.


    • Sobotta’s

      Thank you Tom.

  12. Gerry & Mrilyn Lee

    Jack, you were an awesome example of the love of Jesus to all you met, including me and my family. Your life will continue to touch many people unto eternity. God bless your family in these coming days.

    Love, Gerry & Marilyn Lee

  13. Keith and Cindi Hutman

    Jack is very dear to our hearts. His words, “Jesus loves you”, ring in our ears whenever we think of him. We are grateful for his example of faith and love. We pray God gives you strength during this time. You are in our prayers. – Keith and Cindi Hutman

  14. Bob Jaszewski

    Sending our sympathy to Jack’s family. What an amazing life and list of accomplishments. May he rest in peace. Bob & Laurie

    • Sobotta’s

      Thank you very much.

  15. Michael McHugh

    Our sympathy to the Sobotta family.
    Jack will be missed and remembered
    Linda and Mike McHugh

    • Sobott’s

      Thank you so much,

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