John J. Gillitzer May 16, 1933 - September 24, 2022

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John J. Gillitzer, 89 of Prairie du Chien passed away Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, at Bluff Haven in Prairie du Chien. 

He was born May 16, 1933, the son of Aloysius and Anna (McNamara) Gillitzer. John married Norma Check on April 30, 1956, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Prairie du Chien. He worked at General Motors in Janesville before going to work on the farm in rural Prairie du Chien in 1959. He also worked at the FS fertilizer plant and as a welder for Bituma for several years. John was an active member of the Rural Bridgeport and Prairie du Chien Fire Department for 55 years and served as fire chief for the last 23 years of his career with the department. He was also an officer of the County Fire Association. John hosted the Crawford County Dairy Breakfast twice and was very active in his community. He won numerous awards for this service including the Century Farm Award, State Corn Picking Champion, Crawford County Conservation Award, and the State Eagle Fire Fighter Award. He enjoyed coon hunting, playing cards, watching baseball, welding, and telling good stories about growing up. John was a great whistler; you always knew where he was by the sound of his whistle. John’s wife, Norma, preceded him in death on April 10, 2022. 

He is survived by his children, Russel (Sheila), Phyllis (Dave) Wesener, Joseph (Teresa), Robert, Donna, Mary (Kenneth) Stoeffler, Janet (Brian) Nelson, Diane (Jon) Koenig, and Elaine Jensen; his brother Roger (Janice) Gillitzer; 18 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Agnes Gillitzer, Loretta Check, Rita Lester, Catherine McGrath, and Anna Marie Lathrop and brothers Bernard and Eugene Gillitzer, and his son-in-law David Jensen.

A Mass of Christian Burial was on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, at 11 a.m. at St. Gabriel’s Church of the Holy Family Parish, Rev. Thomas Huff officiating with burial in the Calvary Cemetery, both in Prairie du Chien. Friends called the Garrity Funeral Home on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, from 4 to 7 p.m. where there was a wake scripture at 7 p.m., and also at the funeral home on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until the time of departure for church. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Bridgeport-Prairie du Chien Fire Dept. and Auxiliary or Crossing Rivers Hospice. 

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