Cover photo for John  Reiland's Obituary
John  Reiland Profile Photo
1927 John 2020

John Reiland

November 29, 1927 — March 13, 2020

REILAND, John “Jack” E.

We lost the man who set the standard for what a husband and father should be.

To the WORLD he was our dad, to our family he WAS the world.

John E. (Jack) Reiland passed away at the age of 92 on March 13, 2020. He was born to John and Esther (Raetz) Reiland in Rochester, Minnesota on November 29, 1927. He had a happy childhood growing up in St. Charles, Minnesota. In 1952, he married Joan Pawlak and together raised 6 children. Jack was a Professional Registered Electrical Engineer for 45 years for Hackner, Schroeder, Roslansky and Associates architectural firm in LaCrosse.

Jack is survived by his loving wife, Joan, and his six children and their families, Julie (Brian) Kendall and their sons Adam, Andrew, and Kyle; Jenny (John) Schroeder and their children, Ben (Vicky), Jake, Ali (Ted) Zieman; Jan (Joe) Kaminski and their daughters, Anna (Nic) Oswalt and Carly (Kolby) Schlueter; Joni Morford and her children Michael and Tessa; John (Amy); Joe (Leslee) and their children, Anthony and Joanna. He cherished every one of his 13 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. Jack is also survived by his brother, Robert. He was preceded in death by his parents and his grandson, Nicholas.

Jack was an adoring husband of 68 years. He was a devoted father, and his children will say their dad was the most patient, kind, and gentle man. He was a quiet person of integrity who led by example. This great man was our provider and our protector. He truly was a “Jack of all trades.” He could do it all: wire the house, build furniture, doll houses, and go-carts. He supported his wife, children, and grandchildren in all of their activities and endeavors. He spent many hours traveling to watch grandchildren in their varied activities: baseball, tennis, basketball, show choir, soccer, cross country, and dance. Jack loved spending time with family playing cards, especially Zioncheck, ice skating, sledding, fishing, and making countless boat trips across the Mississippi River to the Coney Island sandbar. Jack led a very active life, starting every day with exercise. He played tennis into his 80s. Jack and Joan took a dance class at the “Y” which led to a hobby of going to dances around town and on to polka fests around the Midwest. Their polka dancing skills were recognized, which led to dance roles in the movie “Grumpier Old Men.” They can be seen doing the Chicken Dance in the movie’s Oktoberfest scene. Jack had a love of music and delighted his family by playing the ukulele and keyboard. Jack was the family grill master, developing his own special secret chicken recipe. Jack was a proud and dedicated volunteer in the Mayo Health System. In addition, he decorated graves for Memorial Day for over 50 years.

Upon retiring, Jack took up wood carving with Jenny and found he had an incredible knack for it. His specialty was carving Santas and other figurines for all his family members. They became priceless, treasured gifts admired by all. When Jack was 89, he was diagnosed with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus which slowed him down dramatically, so his carving tools and dancing shoes were put to rest, much to his disappointment.

Our family would like to thank the employees at Bethany Riverside and Bethany Cass Street and Mayo Hospice for all of their compassionate care and endless energy, from the mail truck drivers giving Joan rides, CNAs with their respectful tender loving care, the recreation therapists for their encouragement, the incredible laundry workers, the religious staff for their prayers and support, kitchen staff for their careful meal preparations and snack deliveries, the maintenance staff for keeping the room comfortable, kind and helpful clerical staff, housekeepers for the consistent sparkling clean rooms, and the caring and talented nursing staff along with the supportive social services staff. We appreciated each of you who truly treated Jack as if he was your dad, grandpa, or dear friend.

In Jack’s honor, please consider sending a donation to your favorite charity, performing an act of kindness, or volunteering in your community when the health crisis passes. Due to public concerns regarding the coronavirus, the funeral will be held at Roncalli Newman Center for local family only with Rev. Fr. Billy Dodge officiating. Inurnment will take place at the Catholic Cemetery in LaCrosse.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Reiland, please visit our flower store.


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