John Ernest Wegmueller passed away peacefully on January 2, 2014. John was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Ernest and Ruth Wegmueller. He attended Richland Elementary School and graduated from Monroe High in 1965.
John studied at UW-Platteville, graduating in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture. At Platteville, he was instrumental in founding Alpha Gamma Rho, an agricultural fraternity. He went on to earn his master's degree in Dairy Husbandry at the University of Missouri, Columbia. In 1971, John returned to Monroe, Wisconsin to farm with his father on their third-generation, 600-acre dairy farm of purebred Brown Swiss.
John was united in marriage to the love of his life, Becky Anderson, on April 19, 1975 at the First Congregational Church in Elm Grove, WI. John and Becky were active members of the National Brown Swiss Association and received numerous awards for dairy herd management, milk production, and outstanding performance in agriculture. Together, they were dedicated to progressive conservation farming, and over the years, hosted international students from France, Switzerland, England, Germany, China, Japan, and Colombia.
John was dedicated to the community, serving on the AMPI Board and as president of Green County Ag Chest. He and Becky were on the board of the parents' association of the United States Naval Academy while their son David was a midshipman. In addition, John hosted numerous farm tours and volunteered for the Monroe School District's Career Day. Ever actively promoting agriculture, he hosted the Green County Breakfast on the Farm in 1989, was influential in leading Brown Swiss dairy cows in the Cheese Days Parade and ran the Cow Milking Contest for more than 15 years. In the fall of 2012, John and Becky were chosen to serve as Cheese Days King and Queen.
John nurtured a deep love of music. He played sousaphone in Monroe High School Band and performed in the college band while at UW-Platteville. Additionally, he was an active member of the First Brigade Band, a Civil War portrayal group - an experience he loved and shared with his daughter Genia. He was an active member of the Monroe Swiss Singers, New Glarus Jodel Club, and Maennerchor. John learned to play the Swiss Alphorn and taught himself the intricacies of the schwyzeroergeli. He traveled all across the United States, as well as Canada and Switzerland, to perform in various Swiss festivals - he rarely went anywhere without his beloved oergli.
John was a dedicated and deeply devoted husband, father, and grandfather and was dearly loved by his wife, children, and grandchildren. He was a long-time active member of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Monroe, WI. In addition, he passionately pursued a wide variety of hobbies, including chip carving, aviation, scuba diving, waterskiing, motorcycling, and traveling. He taught his grandson Samuel to play the alphorn and influenced his sons David and Daniel to take up general aviation. Through his love of progressive agricultural conservation, John encouraged his daughter Sarah to pursue a career in environmental law.
John is deeply loved by his family: wife Becky, daughter Genia Allard (Craig), son Lieutenant Commander David Wegmueller (Christie), son Daniel Wegmueller (Ashley), daughter Sarah Kettenmann (Chris), and five grandchildren - Samuel, Faith, Grant, Jesse, and Brooke; three sisters Barbara Bosak (Gregg), Georgia Pedracine (Al), and Jody Evans (David), as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and countless friends from around the globe - not to mention his "step-horse" Tootsie.
Friends and relatives are encouraged to join the family in celebrating John's life on Friday, January 10, 2014 at Turner Hall, 1217 17th Avenue, Monroe, WI, with a formal memorial service starting at 6:00 p.m. An agricultural scholarship will be established in John's name with memorial monies.
John never knew a stranger.
Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2014
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John was the a true great man through and through always a honest deal and an asset to our state Monroe