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George W. John


1925 - 2014 | Notice Condolences
George W. John Notice
John, George W. Age 88. Born September 12, 1925, returned peaceably and without suffering to the vast unknown, March 27, 2014. George is survived by his daughter Maria John-Detty (Richard) of West Bend; son Peter of San Diego CA; daughter-in-law Kari (Zachow) John of Milwaukee; grandchildren, Alexander John of Phoenix, AR, Katherine John of Brookfield; Zachary John of Breckenridge, CO and Courtney John of West Bend; brothers, Herman and Robert of Milwaukee; ex-wife, Barbara (Nordstrom); four nieces, three nephews, their children and grandchildren; and his companion, and loving friend, Polly Gottfried. George was preceded in death by his parents, Erwin (1887 1970) and Margaret (Bernhard) John (1899-1974); his sister, Martha Jones (1928-2011); and two of his sons, Gregory (1957-2011), and Christopher (1960-2013). George received early acclaim as a poet by renowned author and critic, Gertrude Stein ("A rose is a rose is a rose"), with whom he left poems in Paris after WWII. A 1943 graduate of Riverside HS, George joined the American Field Service, and served with ambulance units which took him first to Italy then to France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, England and finally to India. On return, George attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, St. John's College, and John's Hopkins University. By 1957 he had published two books of poetry. An outstanding wordsmith, George had a poet's heart, but ultimately didn't become a poet; he also had a scholar's mind, but didn't become a scholar; he did found a business, the Renaissance Bookstore, and later was associated with the Out-of-Print bookstore in Bay View, but didn't become a businessman. Instead, his love of books, music, flowers and art, especially paintings, gravitated into collecting and exchanging exceptional objects for which he became known throughout the art and antique community. His depth of knowledge and command of detail in these areas unceasingly impressed those who knew him, and brought respect, admiration and love from all who were exposed to his exquisitely tuned mind and his endlessly gentle and generous spirit. Special thanks to the staffs of Kindred Hearts and Seasons Hospice for their loving final care. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 2PM, at Hartson Funeral Home (11111 Janesville Rd., Hales Corners 108th Street Expressway Exit). In lieu of flowers, memorials of choice or to the family for charities later to be determined can be made.
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Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Apr. 6, 2014
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