The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

John Christian Wangaard


February 20, 2016

WAYZETA, Minn. - John Christian Wangaard, 103, cherished father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend, went to be with the Lord on Feb. 16, 2016, surrounded by his family and beloved friend, Marian Peck.

He is survived by his four children, Christian, of Kona, Hawaii and Boulder Junction, Wis., Betty Williamson, of Arlington Heights, Ill., Clark (Jan), of Rockford Ill., and Lorry Wangaard, of Chicago; as well as eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

John was preceded in death by his wife, Debbie; and brother, Frederick.

John was born in Minneapolis on Nov. 28, 1912, attended South High School and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1935 with an Engineer of Mines degree. He enjoyed a fulfilling career as a mining engineer, early on working underground, and later directing operations in lead, zinc, silver, gold, iron, copper and taconite mines in various locations in North America, including Quebec, Idaho, Vermont, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. John retired in 1968 but continued to work as a consultant with special assignments in Peru, Chile, Canada, Colorado, Texas and Michigan.

In 1956, John built a home on Island Lake in northern Wisconsin, with and for his family. From their boat, he and his wife, Debbie, selected the perfect parcel of land on an undeveloped, pristine shoreline. The house has been the centerpiece of family gatherings for more than 60 summers. This priceless gift has provided family and friends unlimited enjoyment, a haven for introspection, and a lifetime of wonderful memories.

John was blessed with amazing health until his final days, which allowed him to share his enthusiasm for life with everyone he met. For John, each day was always "the best day." His motto? "Everything in moderation." He was an engaging and inquisitive man, interested in everything life had to offer. He was a voracious reader with a sharp mind and was very wise. John chose to be loving, peaceful, patient, kind, joyful, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled. He lived a life of integrity, was an exemplary model to his children and grandchildren and was a loyal friend.

The family would like to sincerely thank the wonderful staff at Trails of Orono assisted living facility, Park Nicollet Methodist Hospice and LifeSprk for the amazing care and love they shared with John.

A celebration of John's life will be held this summer in his beloved Northwoods of Wisconsin.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate that memorials be sent to Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, where John's parents, Hanna Marie and Christian Wangaard, and his uncle, John Field, were charter members, or to the Ebenezer Society, which was also founded by John's uncle.


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