John R. Westfall, 72, of Marathon, WI, died on Saturday June 20, 2020, with his wife and family by his side. John was born on February 12, 1948, the oldest of 6 children to the late Gordon and Katie (Schreiner) Westfall.
On July 26, 1968 he married his wife of nearly 52 years, Jean Catherine Fochs, at St. Patrick’s Church in Halder, WI.
After graduating high school, John proudly served in the US Army from 1968 through 1970 achieving the rank of Sgt. during the Vietnam War. He received a Bronze Star for valor and a Purple Heart.
Together he and his wife raised 3 wonderful children, offering support and encouragement through all of their academic and athletic achievements. They also enjoyed traveling out West, and to Virginia, as well as visiting their daughter and sons and their families. They shared many trips to see the Brewers play with friends and family and enjoyed the occasional movie night and socializing at local taverns.
John had a love for nature and was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting whitetail deer, black bear, coyote and bobcat with friends and family and also enjoyed trout fishing with his children and grandkids. His knowledge and appreciation for the outdoors was passed on through his family and all who had the honor of being in the woods with John.
John also loved playing, watching and coaching baseball and softball. He played baseball in high school and fastpitch softball for many years after returning from Vietnam.
When his children were old enough to play themselves, he began coaching softball and baseball and continued to serve as the assistant coach or volunteer coach for the Marathon High School and youth baseball and softball programs for over 3 decades. The dedication, and passion he had for baseball and softball were a positive influence on the lives of countless children and young adults. As a grandfather, he enjoyed watching his grandchildren play sports, always offering helpful advice and just the right encouragement whenever needed.
He worked as a rural mail carrier for Marathon’s US Post Office for 39 years where he logged over a million miles and along the way, developed great friendships with many of his neighbors.
John is survived by his wife Jean, children Cheryl (Frank) Lencz, Joseph Westfall, and Thomas (Laura) Westfall and the grandchildren he adored, Stephen Lencz, Braeden Lencz, Brianna Lencz, Alayna Lencz, Chayce Westfall, Jagger Westfall, Charlotte Westfall and William Westfall. He is also survived by his sisters and brothers-in-law, Judy (Dick) Ashbrenner, Geraldine (Larry) Natzke, Carol Berndt, Irene (David) Mroczenski, and LuAnn (Mark) Schneider.
He was preceded in death by his parents Gordon and Katie Westfall and brother-in-law Jim Berndt.
There will be a visitation on Friday, June 26th from 4:00pm to 8:00pm at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home in Marathon. The funeral service will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Marathon on Saturday, June 27th at 10:30am. Additional visitation will be held in Church prior to the Service from 9:30am – 10:30am. Social distancing will be practiced.
In lieu of flowers, John requested memorials be directed to:
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society online: https://www.lls.org/ways-to-donate , phone: 888-557-7177, mail: complete donation form and send to: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Donor Services, PO Box 98018. Washington DC 20090-8018 *** in honor of John Westfall.
Marathon Baseball and Softball programs. Donations can be sent to: Marathon Baseball Association, 1409 West Knox Street, Wausau, WI 54401.
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