John E. Belohlavek, 95, of Wausau, passed away peacefully Friday evening, April 2, 2021, at Copperleaf Assisted Living, Schofield, under the care of Interim Hospice.
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He is survived by his wife, Helen, two daughters, Shirley (Jeffrey) Berkley, Columbus, WI, and Betty Brokaw, Minneapolis, MN; two grandchildren, Anessa Laffin and Philip Berkley; a great-grandson, Kaden Laffin; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Nancy Belohlavek, and infant son, John; three brothers and five sisters.
John was born December 4, 1925, in the Town of Emmet, the son of the late John and Frantiska (Stepan) Belohlavek. After graduating from Mosinee High School, John joined the U.S. Army in November 1944, receiving his training at Ft. Hood, Texas. He then served in Kyoto, Japan, until his honorable discharge in November 1946. On August 30, 1947, John married the love of his life, the beautiful Helen Zebro, at St. Paul Catholic Church, Mosinee.
In 1947, John started working as a parts man for Beilke Auto. In 1950, the store was bought by Radke GMC and he continued working there until 1955 as general manager, truck salesman and bookkeeper.
In 1956, John started a long career working for International Harvester as a truck salesman, acquiring a long list of faithful customers and friends throughout the years. He retired from the company in 1991.
John was a former member of the Wausau Lions Club. He also contributed many hours to the American Field Service (AFS) Trash & Treasure Sale. His hobbies included hunting, fishing, camping and gardening, but his passion was woodworking. John and Helen’s family home, built by them in 1949 with the help of Grandpa Zebro, is still filled with many of his wood creations.
John was very proud of his family and their accomplishments, loved them dearly, and enjoyed teasing and playing pranks on them and their friends. To those who cared for him, John was known for being a jokester. When asked by many of his caregivers in recent years, “What can I get you, John?” his favorite response was “A schnapps and a beer!”. Although these words tell just a little bit about who John was, he was most of all a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be deeply missed.
The family would like to thank Tim, Jane and Nancy, from Interim Hospice Care, as well as the staff at
Copperleaf Assisted Living, for being an integral part of making John’s last days comfortable. A very special thank you to niece, Pat, for always being ready to drive, shop or do whatever was needed. Pat, John says, “Thanks for the whiplash!” Thank you also to nephew, Ken and his wife, Connie, for all the delicious homecooked meals.
Graveside services, with military honors, will be at 2:00pm Friday, April 9, 2021 at St. Paul Cemetery, Mosinee. The Rev. Donald Meuret will officiate. Beste Funeral Home, Mosinee, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.bestefh.com.