John H. DeRosa, June 30, 1927 - July 30, 2019

John H. DeRosa
John H. DeRosa
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After 72 years spent sharing their great love, John and Jane DeRosa could not be separated, even by death. On July 30th, 2019, John H. DeRosa passed away, and exactly two weeks later on August 12th, 2019, Jane Elizabeth DeRosa passed away as well.

 Jane Elizabeth DeRosa (née. Herbst) was born on October 14th, 1926 to Frank and Kitty Herbst in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Seven months later, on June 30th, 1927, John H. DeRosa (née. Genaro DeRosa) was also born in Chicago Heights, to Tony and Jenny DeRosa. The two fell in love while attending Bloom Township High School where they were both actively involved in “The Morgue”, a social club hosted on Friday nights at their high school. 

After graduating in 1945, John served in the army, playing clarinet in the 392nd Camp Lee Post Band and tenor saxophone in the 392nd Big Band. Time and distance did little to stop their affection for one another. After John was discharged, the two got married on August 9, 1947 at St. Agnes Church in Chicago Heights. 

The couple was blessed with five children, and Jane, a devoted mother, stayed home to raise them. Despite having her hands full as a parent, Jane was also very active in the Chicago Heights community. Jane volunteered monitoring the playground at a nearby school, and she also was a Troop Leader for her daughter’s Brownie Troop for several years. In addition, Jane also served on the St. Ann’s Church Altar & Rosary Society, the Chicago Heights Women’s Club, and other local organizations. 

Meanwhile, John first worked at the Armour Agricultural Chemical Company as district accounting manager. In 1972, John went into banking and served as a Senior Vice President in charge of lending for the American National Bank of Chicago Heights. John was also a very active member of the community, and he served on the board of directors for the Chicago Heights Community Fund, the Chamber of Commerce, Salvation Army, St. James Hospital, Rotary Club, St. Ann Finance  Committee, Chicago Heights Builder’s Club, and the Chicago Heights Country Club. 

In 1983, John and Jane purchased the Burger King franchise in Eau Claire, and with the help of family members, John managed them remotely from Chicago Heights. By 1987, their involvement in Burger King had grown, and they now had four new locations in the area. Due to the expansion and the desire to be closer to family, John and Jane relocated to Eau Claire. During their Burger King years, John and Jane did more than just sell cheeseburgers – they hosted an annual Christmas breakfast for those in need of food and camaraderie during the holiday season. Over the course of twelve years, they served approximately 5,000 community members with the help of volunteers. In 2008, they decided to sell their shares and retire from the business, turning it over to one of their children. 

Before and during their retirement, John and Jane were also very involved in the Eau Claire community. Most notably, John served on the Board of Directors for Sacred Heart Hospital, where he started the Sacred Heart Classic, an annual golf outing and fundraiser for the hospital that has earned more than 1.25 million dollars since it began. John frequently noted it as one of his greatest achievements in life, and coincidentally, he passed away the same day as the event. Jane served as a volunteer for the Special Olympics, and was a frequent donor to many charitable causes. The two also spent considerable time as involved grandparents, treasuring their time with their family. They also continued to travel, especially to Florida and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as well as spending time at their lake house in Hayward.

 In 2014, John and Jane were given the news that Jane had dementia, which had previously claimed the lives of both her sister, Evelyn, and her brother, Dick. Despite the challenges he faced, John dedicated himself to caring for her in their home. However, one year ago when John found out that he had congestive heart failure, he and Jane were able to find support in their family and beloved caregivers, and the two continued to live in their home together. 

Despite their individual conditions, John and Jane both truly stood by their wedding vows to love each other “in sickness and in health, till death do us part”. Despite her advanced dementia, Jane always was trying to help John, pushing him around their home in his wheelchair, telling him where things were when he lost his eyesight, and spending every moment she could right next to her beloved. John similarly cared for Jane, and one of the few fears he had surrounding death was not being there for her. 

As they signed each card they gave to the other, John and Jane truly loved each other “Body and Soul”. When John passed away on July 30th, Jane continued a steep decline that had begun with and paralleled John’s worsening condition. Just three days after the couple’s 72nd wedding anniversary, Jane joined John in heaven. 

John and Jane are survived by their children: AJ (Carole-Malia) DeRosa of Wilson, WY, Mary Ann Wold of Eau Claire, WI, and John R. DeRosa of Fall Creek, WI. They are also survived by six grandchildren and four great grandchildren: David (Andrea) DeRosa of Los Angeles, CA with children Luca and Sophia, Jenna (Mike) Ellis of Long Beach, CA with children Max and Sam, Steven (Kali) Kolle of Eau Claire, WI, Kari (Travis) Swirth of Janesville, WI, Tony (Megan) DeRosa of Eau Claire, WI, and Sara DeRosa of Minneapolis, MN. In addition to their immediate family, they will also be sorely missed by many beloved friends, extended family members, and caregivers. 

The couple will be honored with joint services beginning with a visitation on Friday August 23rd, from 4-7 PM at Hulke Family Funeral Home. The funeral will be held at Immaculate Conception Church on Saturday August 24th at 10:30 AM followed by a luncheon at the church. There will be no visitation at the church on Saturday morning prior to the service.  Finally, the family invites family and friends to John and Jane’s home 2-9 PM on August 24th following the funeral for a celebration of life. Interment will take place at a later date in the Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spooner, WI. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Sacred Heart Hospital or the Alzheimer's Association. Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com

Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Condolences

  1. MARTY GREEN August 18, 2019

    I knew John as Fine Musician and Life Long CUB FAN
    and He got to see them win the WORLD SERIES in 2016

    He was a fine gentleman and always greeted me with
    Smile.

    Condolences to his family and friends

  2. Greg Selting August 15, 2019

    Im sorry to hear of your loss. Prayers and thoughts to the entire family.

  3. Tami Schraufnagel August 7, 2019

    Maryann and family;
    So sorry to hear of the loss of a dedicated Husband and Father. Let me know if I can help you Maryann in any way.

  4. Tom & Mary Mihajlov August 5, 2019

    Our deepest condolences to Jane, and the entire family on the loss of John, our very good friend. Please know you are all in our prayers and thoughts. He was an outstanding individual and we shall miss him. Remember that those who trust in God never see each other for the last time.

  5. Rebecca Bartow August 1, 2019

    I am so sorry to hear of Mr. DeRosa’s passing. I did not know him for long but I am happy to have met him. He was a special person who was lucky to have such a loving family. I am thinking of you all

  6. Gene Hatfield August 1, 2019

    Sorry for your loss. Lots of memories from all the years.

  7. Darlene Linder July 31, 2019

    So sorry to hear of John’s passing. He was so sweet and loved his music! Linder’s prayers are with you all????????

  8. Bob Osborne July 31, 2019

    Mike, so sorry to read of the loss of your dad.