John Dewey

John Wheelwright Dewey

Thursday, August 23rd, 1923 - Monday, April 13th, 2020
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It is with great sadness that the family of John Wheelwright Dewey, Kenosha, WI, announces his passing on Monday, April 13, 2020, in the presence of loving family at the age of 96.

John was born in Peoria, Illinois, on August 23, 1923, to the late Maurice Adams Dewey and Alice (nee Wheelwright) Dewey. John grew up in Galva, Illinois, where he graduated from Galva High School. He attended Dartmouth College until called to serve his country in WWII.
John loved telling stories. Some of his favorites were about his childhood adventures growing up, going out west to a Dude Ranch and visiting his aunts and uncles.

John shared stories about his WWII U. S. Army service including mountain training in Colorado, working with Rex, a messenger dog, in Virginia, and some of his experiences in Italy fighting with the Tenth Mountain Division. On visiting Italy decades later, he was proud to see that towns he helped to liberate were rebuilt, and people were enjoying their day-to-day lives.

John was an avid horseman enjoying riding and fox-hunting (draghunting) in Racine, and at the Wayne-DuPage Hunt in Illinois. John loved to travel with his wife and children to visit family and to explore new areas on the east and west coasts. In his later years he enjoyed traveling in France and Italy. Through riding and traveling he met many life-long friends in Racine, Delafield and in Europe.

John was proud of his career in the newspaper business. After being discharged from the Army he returned to Illinois with his family and took his first newspaper job at the Kewanee Star Courier. From there he went to work for the Canton Daily Ledger. While at the Ledger he wrote and published, Fecit, his memoirs of experiences in WWII fighting with the Tenth Mountain Division. These memoirs became a chapter in the book Packs On! Memoirs of the 10th Mountain Division in WWII by A. B. Feuer.

From Illinois John went to Davenport, Iowa, as Director of Personnel for Lee Enterprises, parent company to numerous print and broadcast media including what is now the Quad-City Times. When Lee Enterprises acquired the Racine Journal Times in Racine, Wisconsin, John Dewey was named publisher. In 1984 John became the Vice-President and General Manager of C. W. Brown Publishing in Delafield, Wisconsin. In retirement John remained active in the newspaper business by serving on the Board of Directors of the Janesville Gazette.

John is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Betty (nee Melter) O. Dewey. Also surviving are: his five daughters, Mary Jean (Craig) Lucas, Kathryn Elizabeth (John) Bowen, Alice Marilla (Ron) Pratt, Susan Dunbar Riley, and Christine Ann (Dale) Martin; his stepsons, Tom (Lori) Overson and Jim (Debbie) Overson; his brother Phelps T. Dewey and sister Judith Ann Newell; his sisters-in-law Mary (Nee Settle) Bowersett, Carol (Nee Settle) Bowersett, and Betty (nee Weber) Dewey; his 10 grand-children, 9 great grand-children with one to come, 4 step-grandchildren and 5 step-great-grandchildren; and numerous nephews and nieces.

John is predeceased by his parents; his beloved wife of 50 years and mother of his 6 children, Mary Kathryn (nee Bowersett) Dewey; his son, Phelps Dunham Dewey; his son-in-law Kyle Riley; his twin brothers Charles A. Dewey and Maurice Adams (Janet) Dewey, Jr.; and his brother-in-law Richard Newell.

A visitation will be held Saturday, August 22, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Haskell Funeral & Cremation Services in Wyoming. Funeral service will follow the visitation at 2:00 p.m. Burial will take place in the Toulon Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Proko Funeral Home, Kenosha, WI, and Haskell Funeral Home in Toulon, IL.

Memorials may be made to Hospice Alliance or to the cause of your choice.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Meadowmere Southport and Hospice Alliance for their care and compassion.

Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
5111-60th Street Phone: (262) 654-3533
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, August 22nd, 2020 | 1:00pm - 2:00pm
    Saturday, August 22nd, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm
    Haskell Funeral & Cremation Services
    101 S Galena Avenue
    Wyoming, IL 61491
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, August 22nd, 2020 | 2:00pm
    Saturday, August 22nd, 2020 2:00pm
    Haskell Funeral & Cremation Services
    101 S Galena Avenue
    Wyoming, IL 61491
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Toulon Cemetery
    N Union Street
    Toulon, IL 61483
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of John here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.

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Private Condolence
Plant a Tree in Memory of John
3 trees have been planted in memory of John Wheelwright Dewey

With Love, Carol Bowersett and Family

Posted at 05:40pm
May the many wonderful memories the family shared bring you comfort.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of John Dewey — Plant a Tree Now

Denise Maupoix, Philippe Coltee, Derrick Fennell

Posted at 09:40pm
We will keep in our hearts the image of a true gentleman, who was admired and respected by all.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of John Dewey — Plant a Tree Now

Alice pratt

Posted at 06:50am
Dad loves the painting of the Teton Mountains and signed his name in an area after a climb. I believe it was called Rock Chuck

Camille, Jared et Isabelle

Posted at 02:13pm
Chere Kitty, Cher John, Nous vous presentons nos sinceres condoleances la suite du deces du pere de Kitty. Camille, Jared et Isabelle
Tree Image
A memorial tree was planted in the memory of John Dewey — Plant a Tree Now

Kathryn Bowen Posted at 09:35pm

Merci, thank you for your condolences and planting of a tree which the family appreciates.

Alice pratt Posted at 06:55am

We all enjoyed stories of his trips to France and Italy and England. The friendships he made lasted his lifetime!

Anne-marie Bousquet

Posted at 01:45pm
I am very very sad...
Je pense très fort à Betty, à Kitty et John, aux sœurs de Kitty et à toute la famille.
Tous mes enfants se joignent à moi pour vous présenter nos condoléances attristées.
Je garderai de John Le Grand un merveilleux souvenir de promenade en canoë, derrière la propriété.

Kathryn Bowen Posted at 09:26pm

Merci, Thank you Anne-Marie, Dad and family cherish the the time spent with you and your family.

Alice pratt Posted at 06:58am

How we all loved meeting you and your family when you visited America. This is a family friendship that meant so much to Dad and Betty

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