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John A. (Jackie) Ohmann passed away, in the early morning hours of October 15, with the hearts and light of his family nearby. He was 96. Jackie was the third child born to John and Elizabeth (Feneis) Ohmann in Albany, Minnesota in 1924. For most of his adult life, he called Greenwald, a town he loved and served, his home. As a very young man, Jackie served our country in the US Navy on the USS Jenkins (DD 447) a Destroyer that brought this Stearns County boy to the South Pacific. After his honorable discharge, he returned to Greenwald where he met his bride, Charlene Schwieters, whom he married in August of 1950. Together they had 11 children. Jackie worked at the Greenwald Elevator until his retirement in 1989.
Jackie was a dedicated member of St. Andrew’s Church in Greenwald where he spent hours in prayer. He served as altar boy, then boys’ choir, adult choir, lector and Eucharistic Minister. He considered all of these ministries a great honor. For years, he was the parish bookkeeper, keeping neat and tidy columns in the ledgers. Perhaps though, he will mostly be remembered by others for his rich tenor voice that brought joy and comfort to thousands of congregants. He loved to sing and for him it was like praying twice.
Greenwald played a significant role in Jackie’s life. For many years he served on the council as Village Clerk. In addition, he was a long-time member of the American Legion and the Knights of Columbus. Jackie was honored as part of the Freedom Honor Flight which brought WWII veterans to Washington, DC to honor them and to share with them the WWII memorial. For many years, Jackie enjoyed attending reunions with his Jenkins shipmates who, for good reason, referred to their ship as the “Mighty J”.
Jackie was a reflective and appreciative man who once wrote, “...everybody should have a family like ours.” He believed that he and his family were “blessed with an abundant amount of graces” for which he was deeply thankful. His usual response to “How are you?” was a line that he lived and believed: “Never had it so good.” Part of those deep reflections came when he was hunting or fishing. He spent countless hours in the woods and on the lakes, with his strong internal compass always guiding him like the North Star.
Jackie is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 70 years, Charlene, and their children, Peg (Paul) Mercer of Long Lake, MN, Pat (Bruce) Milbrett of Forest Lake, MN, John (Pam) of Wasilla, AK, Susan Keen of Cambridge, MN, Lisa (Joseph) Krause of Corvallis, OR, Laurie (Doug) Schley of Mounds View, MN, Steven (Lisa) of Ham Lake, MN, Michael of Lino Lakes, MN, Tina (Angus) Rowe of Zagreb, Croatia, and Sarah Sommers of Reno, NV. His survivors also include 22 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren, his brother Fr. Daniel Ohmann, his sister, Janet (John) Haas, sisters-in-law Erna Ohmann, Gloria Ohmann, Joan (Jerry) Ehresmann and many nieces and nephews. Jackie was preceded in death by his daughter Kate, his parents John and Elizabeth, his parents-in-law Leo and Carrie (Nathe) Schwieters, brothers Albert, Urban, Reuben, and sisters Mabel Kraemer and Sr. Elizabeth “Kizzie” Ohmann.
Due to current circumstances, Jackie’s family will mourn and celebrate him in a private mass and burial at St Andrew’s Church in Greenwald. For friends and family, be prepared to celebrate his life in true Ohmann fashion sometime next summer with open arms and good cheer.
The family deeply appreciates the kindness that Jackie received while at Park View, Pine Haven and St. Ben’s and they extend, to the staff there, a grateful hand.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name for St. John’s - St. Andrew’s School in Greenwald or to the fund established by Fr. Danny in support of the education of the Watatulu children in Tanzania, can be directed to the Ohmann Family, ℅ Peg Mercer, PO Box 28, Melrose MN 56352.
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