WAKEFIELD, Mich. - John L. Geroux, 89, Wakefield, passed away July 7, 2014, at the Health and Rehabilitation Center, Ashland, Wis. His daughters, Jerry and Joan, were with him shortly before his death. He was the son of Edward B. Geroux and Ila Geroux, of Wakefield.
Born on Oct. 2, 1924, in Wakefield, he attended Wakefield schools, graduating with the Class of 1942.
He entered the U.S. Army in March of 1943 and served as an engineer supervising 13 other engineers in the construction of roads and bridges. In May of 1944 while transporting oil drums to the beachhead of Luzon Island, Philippines, he was critically wounded by Japanese strafing planes. He was transferred to Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco and then Hines Army Hospital in Chicago, where he was rehabilitated until his release in 1946.
When John returned home, he was engaged to Dolores Benson, whom he married on Aug. 9, 1947, in an elopement to Escanaba. The couple's plans were dashed when a fire took their home and their possessions in March of 1948. Mrs. Geroux was pregnant with twins and went to Divine Infant Hospital where she delivered them prematurely.
John worked hard to support his young family and was employed at Ringsmuth Hardware and as a part-time mail clerk. Not to be dissuaded by the fire, he purchased the remaining charred timbers and began rebuilding what was to become the family home. It was completed nearly two years later.
The town photographer, John and Dolores owned Geroux's Portrait Salon, covering many of the happenings in the area, including business, childhood, graduation, marriages, retirements and anniversaries.
He was best known as the affable "mailman" walking with the mail in the 1950s, and later as a postal clerk and assistant postmaster, which he did until his retirement in 1980.
Forever grateful to the people of Wakefield, he became a volunteer firefighter for nearly 15 years. He continued his lifesaving activities, saving the life of a man struck by lightning when he was in his 70s.
A member of the American Legion Geroux Post 11, he served in multiple positions, including post commander. The post is named for his uncle, John J. Geroux, who was the first casualty from Wakefield in World War I.
John was a member of All Saints Lutheran Church and choir and the former Immanuel Lutheran Church, where he served as board member and president.
John took great pride in claiming Texas as his second home. He and Dolores drove the 1,800 miles south and were Winter Texans for more than 20 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Ila Geroux; his brother, George; and his devoted wife of 63 years, Dolores.
John leaves five children and 11 grandchildren to cherish his memory. They are his daughter and her husband, Jerry and John Schultz, of Lake Mills, Wis .; their son Michael Schultz and his fiance Ladun Adaramola, of Dumfries, W.Va .; his daughter and her husband, Jill and Raymond Philen, of Corpus Christi, Texas; his son and his wife, John and Nanette Geroux and their daughters Jessica and Isabelle, of Minneapolis; his daughter and her husband, Joan and Michael Movrich and their daughter Kai, of Wakefield; and his son and his wife, Louis and Stacey Geroux, and children Uriah, Ileona, Xavier, Paige, Ezra, Zoiya and Yslie, of Sturgis, Mich.
The family will greet relatives and friends on Monday, Aug. 18, from noon to 12:45 p.m. at All Saints Lutheran Church, with the honor guard beginning at 12:15. A memorial service will follow the visitation at 1, with the Rev. Bill Jacobson officiating.
Burial will take place in Lakeside Cemetery, with Wakefield American Legion Geroux Post 11 and the Wakefield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9084 Honor Guard performing military rites.
Lunch will be served in the fellowship hall of All Saints Lutheran Church following the graveside services.
Arrangements are under the direction of Lakeside Memorial Chapel, Wakefield, Jerald Rocco, owner-manager. Condolences may be expressed online at lakesidememorialchapel.com.