John Hosmanek

John Joseph Hosmanek

Sunday, January 24th, 1926 - Thursday, January 21st, 2021
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John Joseph Hosmanek, 94, died peacefully at home, on January 21, 2021, after taking his daily neighborhood stroll. He was three days shy of his 95th birthday.

John was born in the Carrollville neighborhood of Oak Creek, WI on January 24, 1926, to the late Josef and Susanna (Hruso) Hosmanek, hardworking immigrants from Slovakia.

His youth was spent exploring the open fields and Lake Michigan shore, which surrounded his family farm, and instilled in him an appreciation for, and lifelong love of nature, a love he passed on to his children and grandchildren.

At the age of 17, upon his graduation from South Milwaukee High School, John joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in the First Marine Air Wing on the Solomon Islands, Philippine Islands, Okinawa, and China. Upon his honorable discharge, in 1946 as a staff sergeant, he enrolled at the Milwaukee State Teachers College, attending under the G.I. bill. On August 28, 1948, he married his high school classmate, Angeline Wolsey. They enjoyed 57 years of marriage, until her death on March 26, 2005.

In 1950, upon his graduation from the State Teachers College, he joined Angeline in Sheboygan, WI where he taught history and English at Southside Junior High School. In 1952 John was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship, which took him to New York City and Washington D.C. to study the relationship between the United Nations and the U.S Congress. John earned his Master’s Degree from Marquette University in 1955 and was named Assistant Principal at Southside Junior High School in 1956.

In 1960, upon the recommendation of his friend, and former Sheboygan neighbor, Otto Huettner, John and Angeline moved, with their young family, to Kenosha. John began his career in Kenosha as an Assistant Principal at Lincoln Junior High, under the watchful eye of Principal Florence Donnelly.

In 1962, John was named Principal of the newly built Lance Junior High School. In 1966, he became Principal at Tremper High School. He left Tremper in 1970 to serve as Assistant Superintendent. In 1975, John earned a Doctorate of Education degree from Marquette University. He served as Superintendent of the Kenosha Unified School District from 1979 to 1989.

John received numerous awards and recognition for his work as an educator, and served on many local, regional, and state boards. He was President of Urban League of Kenosha, President of the Rotary Club, President of the Friends of the Museum, and served as chairman of the VFW Voice of Democracy competition. He also served as President of the Kenosha County Historical Society, and the Wisconsin Slovak Historical Society, where he was the newsletter editor for many years. A letter he wrote to Lee Iacoca, upon the announcement the Kenosha Chrysler plant would close, initiated the establishment of the Chrysler Trust, which provided assistance for educational pursuits of Chrysler employees and their families. In addition, he co-taught school business management classes at the Marquette University and Carthage College.

Upon his retirement he traveled often, making many trips to eastern Europe with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He enjoyed a last memorable trip to Slovakia with his daughter when he was 88.

John enjoyed gardening, photography, playing Scrabble, and attending Wilmot stock car races and Milwaukee Admirals hockey games. For several years, he drove a stock car at Wilmot, maintained by the Tremper Car Club. He won one checkered flag and was voted most popular driver at the track. He was an avid reader, and his many books were a cherished possession. As well, John was a local history buff, and in 2005, his book, “Kenosha, A Postcard History” was published by Arcadia Press. He was a Green Bay Packers fan, as well as a Milwaukee Brewers fan.

Throughout his life, John maintained a happy, positive outlook, had an amusing story for every situation, and always valued his time with family and friends.

John was preceded in death by his wife, parents, his brother Joseph Hosmanek, and sister Ann Narloch. He is survived by his sister, Susan Zembrzuski of Port Washington, WI and his five children, Thomas of Blue Grass, IA, Joan (Henry) Turner of Kenosha, WI, Jane Kaiser of Franklin, WI, Mark of Muscatine, IA, and Jean of Kenosha, WI, as well as his two grandsons, Dr. Andrew (Elizabeth) Hosmanek of Wilton, IA, and John Kaiser of Franklin, WI, numerous nieces and nephews, and his longtime caregiver, Yuri.

A memorial mass and military honors, in celebration of John’s life will be planned for a future date when family and friends can gather safely.

In memory of John, and during this time of isolation, especially for the elderly, please reach out by phone or card to those you care about. John was blessed to have so many people remember him in this way over the past year. Further memorials to St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 2223 51st St., Kenosha, WI 53140 or the Wisconsin Slovak Historical Society, P.O. Box 100164, Cudahy, WI 53110 would be gratefully accepted.

Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
5111-60th Street
Kenosha, WI 53144
Phone: (262) 654-3533
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Michael Palmer

Posted at 10:47am
I remember Dr. Hosmanek having attended both Lincoln Jr. High and Tremper High under his leadership. My sincere condolences to his family. Michael Palmer - Tremper Class of 1966

Mark Sockness

Posted at 12:06am
John was a mensch. I was a mischievous student while John was at Lance and Tremper. He offered me guidance and direction rather than punishment. I socialized with John later in life and he was a smart, kind and superb man. I am happy he lived to enjoy so much and that he accomplished so much during his life. We were both Marquette Warriors and enjoyed many interesting conversations after I graduated and when he was Superintendent. He leaves a marvelous legacy. RIP.

Jill Blankley

Posted at 04:23am
My father worked for DR Hosmanik when he started teaching at Tremper back in 1969. Dad always had kind words to say about him. DR Hosmanik was kind enough to pay his respects at my father's wake back in 2017. I saw him 2 nights later having dinner at the Bartley House and thanked him again. My condolences to his family

Jill Blankley

Peter Pingitore, Sr.

Posted at 08:39pm
I consider it a rare honor to have been selected by John to serve as a school principal in Kenosha Unified. Not only did he have high expectations for all of us as school leaders, he modeled those leadership qualities to an exemplary degree. He and his leadership team comprised of Ralph Houghton and Jerry Euting introduced initiatives that made an extraordinary impact across the District. More personally, John provided key background research to my cousin and author Joseph Gallo in the writing of The House on Garden Street, the story of Kenosha Police Officer Antonio Pingitore, our grandfather. John was truly a Renaissance Man with interests and knowledge beyond the norm. I consider him a mentor and a dear friend. My sincere condolences to the Hosmanek family.
Peter F. Pingitore, Sr.

Edwin Setter

Posted at 03:17pm
Our sincere sympathies to your whole family. It was an honor teaching under your father's leadership when he was superintendent. He was very well respected by all. As editor of the Wisconsin Slovak Historical Society magazine, he encouraged my wife to write stories about her Slovak heritage which he published. Your father's legacy will live on in all the lives he touched. May God bless all of you and give you the strength to get through this difficult time. Edwin and Helen Setter

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