John J. Calnin, age 96, passed away peacefully on May 9, 2023, at Cherry Meadows Hospice in Appleton. John was born on March 20, 1927, to John and Rose (Sturm) Calnin. He grew up and attended Appleton Senior High School and at 17 enlisted in the US Navy. He served as a Seabee during WWII and following his time serving his country, had a chance encounter in 1954 (at Montgomery Ward) with the young lady who was destined to become his wife and business partner, Yvonne Ott. They married on February 4, 1959.
John was a proud member of the American Legion Post 38, the VFW, the 40 et 8, and enjoyed time at the Appleton Yacht Club and Butte des Morts Country Club. John’s military service included time in the Philippines and then in Japan. It was this experience as a CB's (construction battalion) that provided him with the expertise to come back home and start his own company. He was the founder of Calnin & Goss Inc., Trucking & Excavating. He and Yvonne managed the company from the time when a handshake sealed the deal.
John and Yvonne had two children and raised their family on the north side of Appleton. When Wisconsin passed a bill to award high school diplomas to veterans who left school to serve their country, John was the first to receive his from now Appleton West High School. It was a special day for him.
John loved to pilot his Viking boat on Legend Lake. Spending time with his family at the cottage was a major part of John’s life, and they celebrated many birthdays and other events at the Cottage. The indoor bar with a keg on tap or a Manhattan in hand always had room for everyone.
He was a proud Packer fan and season ticket holder for more than 50 years. He attended most home games including the Ice Bowl. Yvonne and John were notorious and noted for entertaining. They entertained business clients in their RV and family dinners always included roast and dumplings (when his mom was cooking). In later years, the winter months were spent by John and Yvonne at their condo in Naples, FL.
John is survived by his wife of 63 years Yvonne, their children: Debra Calnin and David Calnin; grandchildren: Renee (Adam) Schulz, Jacquelyn Guthrie, Jonathon (Emily) Jacobs and William Jacobs. He is further survived by 7 great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents, John and Rose, siblings: Rosella “Sally” (Ed) Plach and Arlene (Harold) Techlin, and in laws Oscar and Bernice Ott.
A funeral mass for John will be held Thursday May 18, 2023, at 11:30am at St Pius X Catholic Church, 500 W Marquette St, Appleton. Friends and family may gather at the church from 9:30am until the start of mass. Military honors will take place at church following mass and John will be laid to rest at Highland Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St Jude Childrens Hospital or the charity of your choosing in John's memory.