John R. Pekala
John R.Pekala, aged 69, of North Freedom, WI passed peacefully away in the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 28, 2021 after a brief and devastating battle with cancer. His family was at his side.
Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, August 14, 2021 at the Conway-Picha Funeral Home in Lyndon Station, WI. Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. until the time of the service 3:00 p.m. with Military Honors.
John was born March 1, 1952 in Reedsburg, WI, the eldest son John and Beverlee Pekala. He attended Mauston Schools and enlisted in the US Army in September of 1969 and served in the Vietnam Conflict from 1970-1971. He first landed in Vietnam in August of 1970 and served 13 months in Long Binh, Bien Hoa, as a Specialist 4th Class with 62 Bravo, performing duties of a First Echelon Heavy Equipment Mechanic and Operator. While serving at the Long Binh Ammunition Supply Depot he maintained and loaded trucks and heavy equipment, that supplied ammunition to thousands of other soldiers. Additionally, he drove a forklift and unloaded ships at Binh Hoa Harbor. It was there that he remembered seeing Agent Orange for the first time; barrels of which would fall from pallets while being moved, breaking open on the ground. Directly exposing everyone to the dangerous effects that we all now understand too well. He came home in September of 1971 and lived with those effects on his health, until the time of his death.
Upon his return home from Vietnam, John married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Pharo. The two were married for 8 years, later divorcing. In 1984, John met the love of his life, Brenda Hulsey. John and Brenda stayed together for the next 37 years, marrying on March 11, 1995, raising their 3 sons, Cyrus born in August of 1985, Daniel, born June of 1987, and Aaron, born December of 1996.
John worked for 45 years in the trades, specializing in plumbing and HVAC, and was the owner of Royal Flush Home Maintenance. He took great pride in providing an essential service to others and he instilled that sense of purpose in his sons. John worked hard his entire life and made sure that he knew his sons understood what it was earn their keep.
When he wasn’t providing for his family, John enjoyed spending as much time as possible with them. Music was centerpiece in the life of the Pekala family and there was always a good time and a welcoming atmosphere at the Pekala household. On any given night, there was cold beer flowing, acoustic guitars, singing and smiles all around. There were horseshoes to be pitched, cards to be dealt, darts to be thrown and friendships to tend and grow. John’s heart was gold, and everyone who knew him well knew that to be true. He lived life to the fullest and did his best to ensure that those around him did as well.
John was the epitome of the family man, his life centered around Brenda and his sons and he would do anything to make sure they had everything they needed. He wasn’t always perfect, but his love was enormous and unbounded. If wealth is measured in love, John was one of the richest men that ever lived.
John was preceded in death by his parents, John J. and Beverlee; his brothers, Randy and Phil and sisters, Delphine and Shelly. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Brenda Pekala; his sons, Cyrus (Lisa) Pekala, Daniel and Aaron; his sisters, Sherri Drobac and Valerie Bush of Las Vegas, Nevada and Kristi Tremain (Richard) of Mauston as well as his beloved grandchildren, Shelbee, Leopold, Mirabella and Oliver and numerous nieces and nephews. His loss leaves a massive void in this world and in the hearts of everyone who knew him. Until we meet again, WE WILL LOVE YOU AND KEEP YOU IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER.
There will be a “Go Fund Me” page setup to assist the Pekala family with final expenses. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family.
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