John Kmosena, 101, died Monday, May 12, 2021, at the Ladysmith Care Community, the result of a stroke. He passed away having attained the age of 101 years just eight days from his 102nd birthday.
John was born on May 18, 1919, in Ladysmith, the son of Andrew and Anna Kmosena. He lived all his life in Rusk County and graduated from Ladysmith High School in 1936. He married Shirley Hampton on May 28, 1949, with Rev. Edwin Kuerschner presiding. Their marriage was blessed with two daughters and two sons. John and his love, Shirley, spent 65 years together. They enjoyed traveling, camping with family and family get-togethers.
John operated the family farm until 1966. He was involved in serving the community and his church being on various boards and organizations. In 1953 he was elected as chairman of the town of Flambeau and at the same time attained a membership on the Rusk County Board of Supervisors. He was elected as chairman of the board in 1958 and served in that capacity until 1972. In 1962, he was instrumental in having Rusk County being chosen as a “Pilot County” to develop the first Senior Citizens Nutrition Program in the state of Wisconsin. In 1972 he was involved in starting the Judicare Program which provided legal assistance for low-income disadvantaged people in the state.
In 1966, he was one of five incorporators in starting the Wisconsin Indianhead Community Agency program for the counties of Rusk, Sawyer, Barron, Washburn and Burnett counties. He served on the WITC Board for 24 years. In 1967, he was approached by the Wisconsin Farmers Union to operate a program funded through the Dept. of Labor which provided part-time employment for low-income men and women. The program focused on community improvement projects for local units of government including townships, counties, schools and non-profit organizations employing over 900 people in the state of Wisconsin. He retired from the position in 1995 after serving 29 years. The program is still in existence today and is known as the Experience Works Program.
He also served on the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Board for 24 years and the Jump River Electric Cooperative Board for 51 years, and he was the longest tenured director in the State of Wisconsin.
John was also a lifetime baptized member of St. John’s Lutheran Church,where he held various offices of the congregation being President, Elder and Trustee.
John is survived by his four children, Judith (James “Doc”) Bishop of Ladysmith, David (Karen) Kmosena of Ladysmith, Lynka Helfman of Montrose, Minn. and John S. (Robin) Kmosena of Ladysmith. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Shane (Sandi) Bishop, Kimberly (Kenneth Crabb) Hakes, Denise Bishop, Tracy (Dan) Renderman, Steven (DeAnn) Kmosena, Bradley (Aileena) Kmosena, Samantha (Mike Strong) Golat, Randi (Brian Mead) Golat, Alan (Erica) Golat and DJ (Nici) Helfman; 22 great-grandchildren; sister, Suzanne Vente of Thomasville, Ga.; nieces, Marjorie Nachowitz and Valerie (Fred) Fritche and nephews, George (Nancy) Arnold and Steven (Ann) Vente.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Shirley; his brothers, Andrew and Stephen; his sisters Ann, Catherine and Susie and nephew, Edward.
Funeral services for John Kmosena will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, May 18, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Ladysmith with Rev. Craig Zandi officiating. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in Ladysmith. A visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m., Monday, May 17, at the church and also for an hour prior to the funeral on Tuesday at the church.
The family of John Kmosena would be honored by your presence at JS Supper Club, Ladysmith, for a meal and celebration of his 102nd birthday following the committal service at the cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be designated to the Shirley Kmosena Memorial for St. John’s Christian Preschool to be used for scholarships.
Nash-Jackan Funeral Home assisted with the service.