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John W. "Jack" Derse

Derse, John W. "Jack" Passed away peacefully in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on November 12, 2013, after a long and full life. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great - grandfather and a caring, thoughtful friend to many. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. Jack is survived by his loving wife, Ruth Derse; his three children, Priscilla Anne Derse Clark (Terry), Patricia Lynn Derse Shepard, and John Walker Derse, Jr. (Athalie); and his three stepdaughters, Maureen Norton Emrey, Coleen Kennedy, and Kathleen Heaney. He is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great - grandchildren. Jack was born March 9, 1918 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Winifred Smith Hibbard (later Derse) and George Burton Hibbard. He attended Hartford Avenue Elementary School and Riverside High School in Milwaukee until the family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jack graduated from Washburn High School in Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota before joining the U.S. Army Air Forces (AAF) in 1941. During World War II, Jack served as a flight engineer with the 126th Airborne Division, flying anti-submarine missions from Newfoundland to Cuba. After the war, he returned to Milwaukee and became a sales representative for Neidhoefer and Company, the Midwest distributor for Mohawk carpets and Armstrong flooring. Jack spent his entire career at Neidhoefer, retiring as the firm's Executive Vice President for Sales in 1983. A longtime member of Ozaukee Country Club in Mequon, Jack was an avid golfer, skier, swimmer and overall sports enthusiast. In addition to sports, he enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Jack was a devoted and loving husband to Ruth for 35 years. Jack was predeceased by his brother Burt and his sister Mildred. The family extends heartfelt thanks to the seventh floor nurses, aides and social worker at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital, Milwaukee, and to the nurses and aides at the Lawlis Family Hospice, Columbia St. Mary's Hospital, Mequon, for the outstanding care Jack received. A private family service and burial have been held.
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Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from Nov. 14 to Nov. 17, 2013
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