Jack Janik Jr.

PAID OBITUARY

John J. Janik Jr. left this earth on Monday, Oct. 28. The American flags on his property went still Sunday night as he slept and his spirit was called.

Jack was 85 years young, propelled by the energy to love deeply, share generously, motivate, mentor and inspire.

Jack was born in 1934 and raised on Milwaukee’s south side. He attended St. Helen’s Grade School and graduated from Notre Dame High School.

It was at Notre Dame High School where Jack met the love of his life, Louise Jasinski. They were brought together by the original Match.com, his chemistry teacher Sister Anthelma.

She suggested he take “Red” to the prom. Jack and Louise married in 1958 and moved out to a 60-acre farm west of Waubeka.

Over the years, Jack and Louise imbedded themselves in the community and raised four children. All vacations were trips to visit or stay with family. Jack’s brothers and sister were scattered across the country in ideal locations to explore, love and laugh together.

Jack was always jumping into new things. On the farm, he created spring fed ponds and raised cattle, sheep, hogs, rabbits, ducks, geese, bees and red worms with the kids for 4-H projects.

Professionally, Jack spent the majority of his career with Cutler Hammer/Eaton Corp. He commuted to Milwaukee each day, initially to work as a journeyman tool and die maker, eventually advancing to vice president and general manager.

Jack led the specialty products division. He and his team were responsible for worldwide design, manufacturing and marketing of commercial and military grade electrical and electronic control components.

Divisions included aerospace controls, semiconductor and temperature controls.

He had the opportunity to work and travel with Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon — one of Jack’s favorite stories repeated for his grandchildren.

His work took he and Louise to Europe, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico and beyond. 

He concluded his corporate career as a senior vice president for Badger Meter, driving new innovations in their operations in the U.S and Mexico.

In 1977, Jack purchased Neuens Fredonia Lumber Co. along with two partners, Claytus Ziehr and Ron Rezel. Jack left Badger Meter at 55 years old and began his second professional life locally.

Neuens Lumber and the Custom Wood Products division are currently headed by Jack’s sons, David and Chris Janik.
Jack dedicated his passion and energy to the business and special community causes in the area.

He transitioned from a support role of Flag Day history in the area to a leadership role.

He was invited into this role by fellow, dedicated patriots. He built upon their strong work and created The National Flag Day Foundation as we know it today.

The passion and commitment to honor our flag remains and is now enhanced with a National Congressional Recognition of Flag Day in Waubeka, granted in 2004.

In addition to continuing the traditional parade in Waubeka, he put some new innovations in place. Jack spearheaded the purchase of the closed Grandview School building and together with a small army of tireless volunteers converted the building into the National Flag Day Foundation headquarters. The building features local patriotic museum rooms and event and meeting space for 4-H clubs, Boy Scouts, Legion groups and more.

The foundation holds its annual Valentine’s Dinner and Auction there, and it is the site of the annual Flag Day observance, parade kickoff and Family Day.

Jack also worked with volunteers to implement a National Flag Day Foundation website, Commemorative Courtyard, Avenue of Flags, Chief Waubeka Trail and youth essay contest, and has invited local, state and national dignitaries to honor and observe the flag and our country’s patriotism in Waubeka, Wis.

Jack enjoyed the people that made the organization great and the opportunity for partnerships with the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, area 4-H clubs and Scout groups, VFW and auxiliaries, Lions Club and Knights of Columbus.

Many quote his line with a smile: “Thank you for everything you do.” He truly appreciated every individual’s contribution and shared goals for his patriotic work.

Jack continued his work for God and country in September, establishing the St. Mary Foundation to purchase and preserve the historic Little Kohler Church, Mater Dolorosa.

Jack is survived by his wife Louise; children Karen (Bob) Bertram of Crossville, Tenn.,  and David (Melissa) Janik, Christopher (Laurie) Janik and Laure (Peter) Borchardt, all of Fredonia.

He is further survived by six grandchildren, Adam (Paige) Borchardt of Milwaukee, Geoffrey (Jessica) Baumann of Sparta, Bryan (Leah Schwandt, girlfriend) of Pittsburg, Pa.,  and Jacqueline, Joseph and Nicholas Janik of Fredonia; great-grandson Brandon Christopher Baumann; sister Angie Janik of McHenry, Ill., sisters-in-law Pat (late Phil Janik) Skillern of Vancouver, Wash., and Ellen Jasinski of Milwaukee; nieces; nephews; and other family and friends.  

Jack was preceded in death by his parents John “Murphy” Janik Sr. and Lucy “Goose” Janik and his brothers Tom and Phil Janik.

A Mass of Christian burial and celebration of a life well lived will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at Divine Savior Parish, Holy Cross Chapel, 5330 Hwy B, Belgium.  

Jack will be laid to rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Little Kohler.  

A visitation will take place at the church on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

Eernisse Funeral Home of Port Washington is assisting the family with arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting Jack’s passions: The National Flag Day Foundation, P.O. Box 55, Waubeka, WI 53021-0055 and St. Mary Foundation, P.O. Box 55, Waubeka, WI 53021-0055.

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494
 

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