John Thomas Skahen, 73, of Chilton, died on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at his home in Chilton.
He was born on Nov. 4, 1943, in Appleton, Wisconsin, son of the late Daniel and Dorothy (Carroll) Skahen.
John married Ruth Marie Jannsen on Sept. 15, 1979, at the former St. Mary Catholic Church in Chilton.
John took a lot of pride in his farming and farmed on his family homestead until it was sold in 1984. He went on and had various jobs at Hernke’s Cheese in Hilbert, Stoelting in Kiel, and eventually fully retiring from Amerquip in Kiel.
After retirement his house was still not quiet and helped Ruth by watching children throughout the years. He has a special place in his heart for all the children he watched after. The children looked forward to the week ahead when he got to pick them up from school, play pretend, or helping them learn how to ride bike.
John was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church formerly St. Augustine Parish. Religion and the church were very important to John and he thought highly of his faith. He was a grounds keeper at St. Augustine's for many years, ushered, helped at the BBQ chicken fry outs, and supported all the church functions, dances, and picnics around the area.
John also enjoyed a good tenderloin on the grill, polka music, listening Saturday mornings to the Jerry Schneider Show, dancing to polka music, bowling, playing bean bags, and he could always be seen supporting the local functions around town. John could be found at the local fire department picnics, band concerts in Chilton, and parades around the county to name just a few. He was a lifetime member of the Eagles and also seen bartending at the Eagles Club back in the day, enjoyed playing sheepshead, and continued to be a supportive Packer fan.
With the sturgeon spearing season just ending, John still took a lot of pride of spearing the largest fish off of Lake Winnebago since 2014. He named his fish Sally and to celebrate he and Sally went around the lake having a shot of Dr. McGillicuddy’s. After a full day of spearing he enjoyed therapy at the chopper box with friends and family off the shore of Quinney. John now has an empty chair at Ethel’s where he loved his Pabst Blue Ribbon or a shot of extra sharp ginger brandy. Never did he pass up a good game of liar’s dice.
John was known as Papa John by many and everyone would say he liked to have a good time. He had great advice for those who were with him , “ it’s all part of growin' up”. Although he had his favorite drink, he wasn’t too fussy and he was looking forward to the upcoming St. Patty’s Day, his favorite holiday of the year. John was 100% Irish and wanted everyone to know it, especially on St. Patrick’s Day as he dressed for the event.
John will be missed by many, but especially his wife of 37 years Ruth and his girls, Judy (Don) Wesener and Diane Skahen and fiancee Mark Ecker. He is further survived by a sister-in-law Rose Skahen; Godchildren; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Gerald Skahen; brother-in-law Eugene Jannsen; and a niece Patricia Skahen.
Funeral services will be at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, March 6 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Chilton with the Rev. John Hephner officiating. Friends may call at Wieting Family Funeral Home (411 W Main St.,) in Chilton from 4 until 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 5 and on Monday, March 6 at the funeral home from 10 until 11 a.m. Prayer services will take place Sunday evening at the funeral home at the close of the visitation.
A memorial fund has been established in the name of John Skahen.
Wieting Funeral Home is assisting the family. Online condolences may be shared at www.wietingfuneralhome.com.