John Albert Ringelstetter of Kohler, Wisconsin, called it a lifetime on May 10th, 2022. Born on May 13, 1938, in Janesville, his early years were shaped by farm life and a host of outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, and boating. He shared his deep appreciation of the natural world with his family, creating many wonderful memories and experiences with them.
John was a graduate of Janesville Craig High School and majored in biology at Milton College. He served in the US National Guard and returned to complete certification as a funeral director and mortician through the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science. He rose to the demands of his chosen profession as a mortician, relocating to the Madison area. In that setting he dedicated much of his career to UW-Hospital of Madison in the Pathology Department. When he was not on-call, he commuted to work via bicycle.
He and wife Katchen (Kubitz) shared many interests and adventures in their 59 years of marriage. Their love story started in the local library, and they would continue to value reading and life-long learning together. As avid UW-Badger fans, they regularly attended games and stayed for the 5th Quarter festivities. John was a savvy researcher for family travels throughout the US, visiting state and national parks, and in planning for their trips overseas to England, Scotland, France, Switzerland, Ireland, and Germany. Closer to home, their rustic lakeside cottage provided a special retreat in the heart of the state. Upon his retirement, he and Katchen were snowbirds for many years in Destin, Florida. John would also join the ranks at Whistling Straits as a starter on the first hole.
Among his personal qualities, John was especially known for his intelligence, a spirited sense of humor using puns and unique greetings, and his many "Mr. Fix-It" skills. John loved working with his hands, puttering in the garden and garage. He took classes in stained glass, making presents for family members and friends. Appreciating a variety of musical genres, he played guitar, banjo, and harmonica. His woodworking talents produced a “Free Little Library” for his yard and gifted beautifully crafted clocks and impressive furniture pieces. As a devoted father and supportive family man, he was a great storyteller and was nicknamed “Happy” by his grandchildren.
He is survived by spouse, Katchen (Kubitz) Ringelstetter, children James Ringelstetter, Ann (Bill) Utke, grandchildren Taylor (Tyler) Boess, John Ringelstetter, and great-granddaughter Harper, as well as extended family and friends.
The family is tremendously grateful for the exceptional care provided by Sharon Richardson Hospice. In honor of his wishes, a private celebration of life with a nod to his German heritage is being planned. Memorials in John’s name may be offered by sharing a kindness with someone in need. Gifts may also be designated for Sharon Richardson Hospice, Kohler Village Library, and Janesville Public Library.
If you would like to leave a message of sympathy for John’s family, please visit www.zimmerfuneralhome.com.