9:00 - 11:00 AM on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 16770 13th St. South, Lake St. Croix Beach, MN
11:00 AM on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
John Francis Schowalter, age 75 of Lakeland, died on January 26, 2018 after a long battle with cancer, fought with great faith and good humor. John was born on December 21, 1942 to Sam and Lorraine (Parks) Schowalter in South Saint Paul, Minnesota. He attended school in South Saint Paul and afterwards joined the U.S. Air Force as an aircraft mechanic in 1962. In 1968, John married Diane Knafla and together they were blessed with 3 daughters, Erika, Holly, and Eydie.
John worked at 3M for many years as a Steamfitter, but his real life’s work was being a husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He shared a long and loving marriage with Diane, enjoying activities like square dancing, playing cards, family gatherings, attending church and Sunday breakfasts, and getting together with long-time friends.
He taught his daughters to have integrity and faith, and to enjoy what they do in life. He never missed a dance recital, choir performance, or band concert; and he put up with many slumber parties. John was a gentle, patient grandpa who was especially good with babies; if there was a crying child, he’d say, “Gimme that baby,” and they’d be comforted. He loved to teach his grandkids practical things, like how to cook pancakes or fish from the shore.
John was a terrific cook, whipping up tasty hotdish, meatloaf, or his famous fish-fry and inviting people over to share a meal. He was a man of the woods, enjoying the peacefulness of the tall trees, fresh air, animals, and stars of northern Minnesota. He spent a lot of quality time hunting and fishing with family at their cabin near Longville, MN, which had been in the Schowalter family since 1947.
As a youth he was a rascal, and as a young man he had a temper, but all his life John was hard-working and humble about his skills in engineering and mechanics. He was a generous man, always willing to share his knowledge and to help family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. All of us will miss all these things about him and so much more.
John will remain in the hearts of his wife of 49 years, Diane; daughters, Erika Rae, Holly (Bill) Peterson, and Eydie (Gary) Sakura; grandkids, Will, Sebastian, and Felicity; siblings, Peggy Drkula, Rita (Tim) Ray, Kathy Lawrence, Tony (Jocelyn) Schowalter, Greg (Pam) Schowalter, Lorraine (Jim) Quirk, Joan Manning, and Pauline (Conrad) LaDoux; as well as other countless relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel and Mary Lorraine Schowalter; siblings, Sam Schowalter and Betty Schroeder; and sister-in-law, Grace Flynn.
Mass of Christian Burial for John will be held at 11 AM on Wednesday, January 31, with a visitation from 9-11 AM at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 16770 13th Street South, Lake St. Croix Beach, MN. Interment will take place at Lakeview Cemetery in Lakeland, MN. Services entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of Hudson, WI.