John J. Hosmanek
1926 - 2021

John J. Hosmanek


John Joseph Hosmanek, 94, died peacefully at home, on January 21, 2021, after taking his daily neighborhood stroll. He was three days shy of his 95th birthday.

John was born in the Carrollville neighborhood of Oak Creek, WI on January 24, 1926, to the late Josef and Susanna (Hruso) Hosmanek, hardworking immigrants from Slovakia.

His youth was spent exploring the open fields and Lake Michigan shore, which surrounded his family farm, and instilled in him an appreciation for, and lifelong love of nature, a love he passed on to his children and grandchildren.

At the age of 17, upon his graduation from South Milwaukee High School, John joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in the First Marine Air Wing on the Solomon Islands, Philippine Islands, Okinawa, and China. Upon his honorable discharge, in 1946 as a staff sergeant, he enrolled at the Milwaukee State Teachers College, attending under the G.I. bill. On August 28, 1948, he married his high school classmate, Angeline Wolsey. They enjoyed 57 years of marriage, until her death on March 26, 2005.

In 1950, upon his graduation from the State Teachers College, he joined Angeline in Sheboygan, WI where he taught history and English at Southside Junior High School. In 1952 John was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship, which took him to New York City and Washington D.C. to study the relationship between the United Nations and the U.S Congress. John earned his Master's Degree from Marquette University in 1955 and was named Assistant Principal at Southside Junior High School in 1956.

In 1960, upon the recommendation of his friend, and former Sheboygan neighbor, Otto Huettner, John and Angeline moved, with their young family, to Kenosha. John began his career in Kenosha as an Assistant Principal at Lincoln Junior High, under the watchful eye of Principal Florence Donnelly.

In 1962, John was named Principal of the newly built Lance Junior High School. In 1966, he became Principal at Tremper High School. He left Tremper in 1970 to serve as Assistant Superintendent. In 1975, John earned a Doctorate of Education degree from Marquette University. He served as Superintendent of the Kenosha Unified School District from 1979 to 1989.

John received numerous awards and recognition for his work as an educator, and served on many local, regional, and state boards. He was President of Urban League of Kenosha, President of the Rotary Club, President of the Friends of the Museum, and served as chairman of the VFW Voice of Democracy competition. He also served as President of the Kenosha County Historical Society, and the Wisconsin Slovak Historical Society, where he was the newsletter editor for many years. A letter he wrote to Lee Iacoca, upon the announcement the Kenosha Chrysler plant would close, initiated the establishment of the Chrysler Trust, which provided assistance for educational pursuits of Chrysler employees and their families. In addition, he co-taught school business management classes at the Marquette University and Carthage College.

Upon his retirement he traveled often, making many trips to eastern Europe with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He enjoyed a last memorable trip to Slovakia with his daughter when he was 88.

John enjoyed gardening, photography, playing Scrabble, and attending Wilmot stock car races and Milwaukee Admirals hockey games. For several years, he drove a stock car at Wilmot, maintained by the Tremper Car Club. He won one checkered flag and was voted most popular driver at the track. He was an avid reader, and his many books were a cherished possession. As well, John was a local history buff, and in 2005, his book, "Kenosha, A Postcard History" was published by Arcadia Press. He was a Green Bay Packers fan, as well as a Milwaukee Brewers fan.

Throughout his life, John maintained a happy, positive outlook, had an amusing story for every situation, and always valued his time with family and friends.

John was preceded in death by his wife, parents, his brother Joseph Hosmanek, and sister Ann Narloch. He is survived by his sister, Susan Zembrzuski of Port Washington, WI and his five children, Thomas of Blue Grass, IA, Joan (Henry) Turner of Kenosha, WI, Jane Kaiser of Franklin, WI, Mark of Muscatine, IA, and Jean of Kenosha, WI, as well as his two grandsons, Dr. Andrew (Elizabeth) Hosmanek of Wilton, IA, and John Kaiser of Franklin, WI, numerous nieces and nephews, and his longtime caregiver, Yuri.

A memorial mass and military honors, in celebration of John's life will be planned for a future date when family and friends can gather safely.

In memory of John, and during this time of isolation, especially for the elderly, please reach out by phone or card to those you care about. John was blessed to have so many people remember him in this way over the past year. Further memorials to St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 2223 51st St., Kenosha, WI 53140 or the Wisconsin Slovak Historical Society, P.O. Box 100164, Cudahy, WI 5311 would be gratefully accepted.

Proko Funeral Home & Crematory

5111-60th Street

Kenosha, WI 53144

Phone: (262) 654-3533

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Published by Kenosha News on Jan. 27, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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15 Entries
John was a great teacher in life. It was an honor to know him.
Kariann Mitchell
February 1, 2021
Mr. Hosmanek was instrumental in my pursute of higher education. After Tremper High I went on to graduate from GTI. I attended UW-Parkside and Carthage before graduating from Palmer College of Chiropractic. My sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.
Kenneth Tennant
January 31, 2021
A sweet mentoring man to so many. A Kenosha Legend who believed in himself and ideas. A Kenoshan legacy, who righteously deserves a place in our Kenosha’s history.
Rest In Peace and May Gods blessing be upon you for the work, dedication and accomplishments in your life.
Georgianna Counterman
January 30, 2021
Arlinda Eaton
January 30, 2021
John was truly a remarkable man. I considered him a friend and mentor. More importantly a brother Marine. He was a man of great vision & courage. It was my good fortune to have known John. He certainly made his mark on Kenosha, and made our community a better place for all it citizens.
Patrick Moran
January 30, 2021
I was blessed having John as my Principal both at Lance and Tremper. He was kind and understanding. A great man! My condolences to his family.
Shiela Last-Heg
January 28, 2021
My memories of John are from attending the Slovak picnics. While heading to the baked goods booth for kolache he would announce " you can always tell the happiest Slovaks by the poppy seed in their teeth" Condolences to the entire family. He will be missed.
Marlene Schuda
January 28, 2021
It was a honor to have known John through the Danish Brotherhood Lodge, where he was also President at one time. He was a gentleman and a joy to speak with.
Gary Sorensen
January 28, 2021
Sending condolences to Jane and family. May the lifetime of memories ease the pain you feel today. Your dad inspired many of us to be the best during his tenure with the Unified. May he Rest In Peace.
Ann Krulatz Rosmann
January 28, 2021
He was an "up north" fishing friend of my dad (Rudy). He was my daughter´s boss when she was a high school co-op intern (Wendy). He was an all around good guy to everyone. God´s peace.
Bob Bernhardt
January 27, 2021
I remember my job interview with John at Tremper like it was yesterday. He hired me for an art opening at Tremper which lasted for 37 years. Thanks John! I have been forever grateful for your confidence in me. Your friendship and leadership will be missed.
Lynn Obertin
January 27, 2021
I remember Uncle John as a kind and caring man. So very interesting and brilliant. Thinking of you all and wishing you peace at this sad and difficult time.
Eileen Hosmanek
January 27, 2021
One of the nicest person I was honored to know. His trust and belief in me, as a young teacher and coach at Bradford in the early 70's, spurred me on as I did not want to disappoint. I respected him that much. Rest in peace Doc.
Franz Feldmeier
January 27, 2021
Uncle John was a sweet man. He encouraged me when I became a teacher and best of all, he carried on the Hosmanek sense of humor as my dad Joe did as well.
Jodeen Hosmanek
January 27, 2021
He was a good Man...sweet at race track...
Mike Hopkins
January 27, 2021