John M "Jack" Kolar Jr. passed away on Thursday, December 3, 2015 surrounded by his loving family. 91 years a beautiful soul, 68 years a loving husband, 66 years a dedicated father, 37 years a proud grandfather, and 1 year a precious great grandfather. He was an eternal optimist, choosing to live life happy. His glass was 99.9% full. When asked how he was, he would always respond, "I'm perfect."
Jack was a lifelong Kenosha north sider who graduated from Mary D. Bradford high school and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Throughout his career he was employed at the Frost Company, Burlington Memorial Hospital and The Wisconsin State Employment Service. He spent 20 years as the personnel director at Kenosha Memorial Hospital where he loved his job and was valued for his service.
John left a legacy for which we will all be forever grateful. Above all else he was devoted to his family. He showed his love for family by his hard work ethic, his wise words and his gentle discipline. He was known as the funny grandpa and always had a smile or joke for us, the waitress, clerk, nurse or stranger he encountered.
He lived his Catholic faith exemplified by his time volunteering with his church, his children's schools and activities, the Meals on Wheels program and the Intergenerational Fair with Kenosha Unified Schools, but also much more. He was a long time Kiwanis member where he served as President. He served his country in the US Air force during WWII after which he attended UW-Madison on the GI bill. John believed in the value of education and was a dedicated Badger supporter, attending three Rose Bowls in Pasadena. He strongly encouraged higher education in his children. He believed that learning was a lifelong process and even learned to use a computer at the age of 70.
Jack met the love of his life, Josie Chernosko, at a New Years' Eve party in high school. They married on September 13, 1947, while attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They welcomed six children into the world and raised them with strong values. Their children have blessed them with 17 grandchildren of whom they are extremely proud. They recently welcomed their first great grandchild.
Jack loved planning cross-country vacations with his children and piling them all into a car with no air conditioning for long road trips. He enjoyed working outdoors while broadcasting the Badger football games for the entire neighborhood to hear. Jack and Josie played Pinochle monthly with the same six couples for over forty years. Spending time on the golf course was a favored pastime. He constantly entertained his grandchildren with his many tricks and jokes. Grandpa's garage was full of his treasures, collected at rummage sales all over town. If you were selling an old clock or nutcracker, he was your man. He loved woodworking and fixing things and never met a cookie he didn't like. But mostly, he enjoyed sharing all of these activities with his loved ones.
Jack is survived by his wife Josephine, children: John (Mary) Kolar, Bill (Linda) Kolar, Mary Jo Kolar, Patty (Ed) LaMacchia, Jane (Steve) Zongolowicz, Janet (John) Cain, and grandchildren: John, Jenny, Matt, Chris, Sara, Max, Holly, Iggy, Willy, Otis, Stephanie, Sara, Alison, Jeff, Alex, Aaron, Elizabeth, and great granddaughter Kailyn.
He was welcomed into heaven by his loving parents John and Josephine Kolar, "sis" Shirley Weiss, his in-laws Iggy and Theresa Chernosko, and life-long friend John Bokmueller.
The Kolar Family would like to thank Dr. Zeihen and Dr. Kreager and the staff of 8 Palmer at United Hospitals Kenosha Campus for their compassionate care and kindness.
The extended Kolar family offers our eternal gratitude to Jane and Mary Jo for making Dad's final years as comfortable and joyful as possible.
Dad, "We love you more."
Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, December 8, 2015. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 5100 22nd Avenue. Relatives and friends are asked to meet at the church for the Mass. Interment with full military honors will follow in St. George Cemetery. A visitation for Jack will be held at the funeral home on Monday, December 7, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial remembrances to the Shalom Center of the Interfaith Network, 1713 62nd St., Kenosha, WI 53143, would be appreciated.