John M. Derenne passed away after a long illness on September 2, 2018 with his wife of almost 54 years at his side. John was born August 2, 1944 in Green Bay Wisconsin to Camille and Josephine (Matzke) Derenne. John enjoyed growing up in Green Bay, with special memories of trips to the Cabin in Florence with his family.
His greatest joys as a kid were learning to fish and hunt with his Dad and spending time with his Mom. John considered several vocations including Priesthood. His time in study and education for this pursuit was formative in his life of faith. He graduated from Premontre. During this time he met Judy Wallace and their life long journey together began. They were married on November 28, 1964 at St. Mary’s of the Angels. During these early years John sought to support his young and growing family working at Sears. John eventually began a long career with the City of Green Bay working as Office Administrator for the Green Bay Parking Utility. He took a lot of pride in contributing to the growth and development of the downtown district in those years.
During these years of hard work and raising young children, John and Judy were active in golfing and bowling leagues and card clubs. Spending time with the Derenne’s and the large Wallace family gave him great joy and the connection to family he held dear. One of John’s greatest joys was in sharing relationship with others. He thrived on good conversation in many forums. Even better for him was good conversation, good scotch and a good cigar on a beach or golf course. These places and the people that he shared them with filled his spirit with joy, hope and a deeply sought after peace. John enjoyed the many travels that he and Judy were able to share. They were blessed to travel to many states and countries. John’s passion for history was brought to life as their travel provided the opportunity to witness many historical places in person. When not traveling, John, an avid reader could be found with a book in hand or watching football, golf (or out of love for his grandkids) soccer, dance or basketball.
John was an active Grandfather in the life of his grandchildren, interested and supportive of each of their endeavors. His passion for family was genuinely shared in his relationship with each of them. This was evident to them in many ways, but in particular in his presence on the sidelines or audience of their events.
These loves were shared with his other great passion of service through the Masonic and Shrine Fraternal Organizations. John was a member of the Masons for 38 years. He was an active member of York Rite and Scottish Rite. He was an officer in the Lodge of Perfection and received his meritorious services Red hat in 1997. John began his Shrine membership with Zor temple in Madison Wisconsin. In 1985 he became a charter member of the Green Bay Beja Shrine. He worked his way up in the Divan to become Potentate in 2003. He was Beja’s recorder from 2004-2011. Along his path he participated in a number of Beja units including Super Cycle and enjoyed working on the Brad Ottum Golf Outing. His service in these organizations gave him deep meaning and purpose and inspired him even when his own health was a struggle. The service for others in these organizations and the relationships formed in the midst gave John deep pride and a sense of contributing to others in need.
John is preceded in death by his Parents, his Sister and brother in law, Bea and Glenn Scheel, his brother and sister in law, Dick and Donna Derenne, Mother and Father in law, Chester and Betty Wallace, Brother- in- law, Jeffrey Dunkelman.
John is remembered by his wife Judy, his daughter and son in law Julie and John FitzGerald, Son and daughter in law, Joseph and Karin Derenne, Grandchildren Lexi, Jack and Molly FitzGerald, Acacia, Michaela and Jacob Derenne. Sisters and Brothers in law, Chester Wallace (Marty), Tom Wallace, Laurie Dunkelman, Sally Hinkfuss (Paul), Mary Jo VandeHei (Brian). And many beloved nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to express gratitude to the Doctors, Caregivers and Unity Hospice for their supportive care to John. A memorial has been established for the Shrine Children’s Hospital.
Visitation will be September 15, 2018 at Newcomer - Green Bay Chapel, 340 S. Monroe Avenue, Green Bay on Saturday, September 15th from 10 AM - 12 PM. A service will follow at 12 PM in the funeral home.
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