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John Evans Kassner Jr Obituary

John Evans Kassner Jr., 97, who lived in Green Bay, WI passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 29, 2022, due to a very short illness, after 97 years of a long, healthy, and fulfilling life. John was born in Oakland, CA, as the second oldest son of John C. Kassner and his wife Elsie (Burkart) on June 6, 1925. The family moved to Manitowoc, WI when he was very young. John was raised in a family of 13 with three brothers and nine sisters. As a natural athlete, John became the starting quarterback on the varsity football team in his junior year at Manitowoc High School and excelled in all aspects of life during his youth, even including being a proud member of the high school dance club – LOL. When World War II broke out during his senior year, John honored his call to duty and enlisted in the US Army. He volunteered and became a paratrooper in the heralded 101st Airborne Division. As a member of the elite “Screaming Eagles” division within the 101st, his natural ability to excel both athletically, and as an excellent marksman, he found himself becoming one of its brave paratroopers, also known as rangers. John’s role involved partaking in dangerous recognition missions. In the dark of night, on the eve of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, John and his fellow brave comrades parachuted into France behind German lines to secure strategic positions prior to the Allied invasion the following day, June 6, 1944. That day was in fact his 19th birthday. John also fought bravely in other battles throughout the war to defeat Germany, including the infamous Siege of Bastogne. During the war, John was wounded on several occasions and received the Purple Heart for his brave commitment to our nation’s freedom. Not all things during wartime turned out to be bad, however. Nearing the end of the war, while medically rehabilitating from one of his wounds in London, England, John met a very young and beautiful English girl named “Lillian Joan Brown”, who he knew at first glance was going to be the one and only love of his life. He somehow convinced her to leave her family and homeland to become his war bride before being shipped back to the States. All alone, as an eighteen-year-old young bride, who was very scared, but also very much in love, she traveled to the United States to be with the man she knew was going to make her life whole and fulfilling. Like most young married couples after war ends, both John and Joan immediately wanted to start a family. Since John was raised in a family of 13 and Joan from a family of 11, they also wanted to have a nice sized family. Their first born of five children was a son named “John Allen”, of course being named after his father and grandfather, followed by three other sons and a daughter. Named in order as James Michael, Steven William, Kathleen Ann and Craig Albert. John and Joan were incredible parents and made great personal efforts and sacrifices to ensure their children were brought up in a close and loving family atmosphere. Their greatest joy came from knowing that all of their children grew up to become successful in their personal lives and remain a close knit family. John was born with a twinkle in his baby blue eyes and had the gift of making everyone he ever met glad to have known him. Always outgoing and never without a smile on his face, he was truly a natural born salesman. He started his sales career selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door. John eventually got his real-estate license and within several years had started his own real-estate brokerage company. By the mid-sixties he was also creating land for residential subdivisions and ventured into developing numerous large multi-family building projects throughout the state. With his success came an awareness within the local building industry that he was not only successful but also an insightful leader, who was always willing to share his business thoughts and progressive ideas with his many peers. Shortly after deciding to join the Brown County Home Builders Association, he was elected to be the local president in the mid-seventies. As his involvement within the association grew, he became further involved within the legislative aspect of the industry and in 1977 he was elected as the State president of the Wisconsin Home Builders Association. He also was chosen as a director for the National Home Builders Association, finally retiring as a Senior Life Director in 2015. John is survived by his five children, John A. Kassner (Victoria) and their children: Jesse Kathryn Kassner, Matthew Kassner ( Carrie Ann) and their children: Page, London, Bryce and Brittany; James Kassner and his children: Jameson Kassner and Chastity Kassner; Steven Kassner (Julie) and their children: Allison (Scott) Fortney and their children: Brianne, Audrey, Lauren and Samantha; Ashley (Corey) Smith and their children: Natalie and Jackson; Kathleen Kassner and her son: John (Lina) Ingold and their children: Wally and Louie; Craig Kassner (Patricia) and their children: Chandler (Olivia) Kassner and their children: Sullivan and Cordelia; Austin (Emelia) Kassner and their children: Adeline and Wilson; and Dayton Kassner. He is further survived by his sisters, Lois (Harold) Anderson and Norma Kappel. John was preceded in death by his wife, Joan, on September 1, 2003; and his siblings, Joseph Kassner, Clara Bownan, Arthur Kassner, Edith Jarosinski, Betty Grace, Alice Skadeland, Gladys Litwin, Anita Larson, Alon Kassner and Myra Hanson. John will always be warmly remembered not only for bravery as a soldier, his devotion to his loving wife and family, and leadership in his industry, but also for the never-ending kindness and caring he showed to every individual who had the good fortune to have known him. He will never be forgotten in our hearts and minds for his smile and that special twinkle in those baby blue eyes!! We love YOU now and forever Dad. Friends and family may visit at Newcomer Cremations, Funerals, Receptions, 340 S. Monroe Ave Green Bay on Sunday, October 9, 2022 from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm with a funeral service with Military Honors to follow at 4:00 pm . Private interment will take at Fort Howard Memorial Park. To leave an online condolence please visit www.NewcomerGreenBay.com.

Posted online on October 05, 2022

Published in Green Bay Press Gazette

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