Professor Emeritus John D. MunsellProfessor Emeritus John D. Munsell, 70, died at St. Mary’s Medical Center on Feb. 12, 2013, after a brief illness.
Professor Emeritus John D. Munsell, 70, died at St. Mary’s Medical Center on Feb. 12, 2013, after a brief illness.
Born June 26, 1942 in Lansing, Mich., to Virgil McVeigh and Glen Munsell, he attended the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor for his gradate and post-graduate work in Theatre. He was hired by UW-Superior in 1967 and worked there until his retirement in 2001. John held the rank of Professor prior to retirement and taught in theatre, TV, radio and speech — “The Fun Stuff!” He directed over 70 theatrical productions including 25 musicals, and a touring theatre program that gave 400 performances in over 60 communities during a 10-year period. He performed in countless plays, commercials and professional appearances. While at UW-Superior, he served as director of theatre for over 25 years and department chair of Communicating Arts for over nine years. After retirement, he spent two summers at the Black Hills Playhouse in South Dakota directing. He continued his monthly “Probability Seminars” and did volunteer work for the St. Croix Lake Association, including mentoring students. He also traveled extensively. John was an Eagle Scout. He was honored on several occasions at UW-Superior, the University Alumni Association, the UWS Foundation and the Wisconsin Theatre Association.
John’s most rewarding role was that of father, grandfather and husband. He enjoyed watching his grandson play hockey, his granddaughter “drinking the Kool-Aid” and most of all, watching his daughter and son-in-law be amazing parents.
He is survived by his wife Suzie Bednar-Munsell, Solon Springs; daughter Jeannine Wiitala (Marty), granddaughter Emily, grandson John of Lakeville Minn.; ex-wife Lynette Ruzzin of Wyandobbe Mich.; sister Deanna Avantaggio, Durango Colo.; brother Steve Munsell, Flint Mich.; mother-in-law Barbara Bednar, Solon Springs, sisters-in-law Kim (Robert) Gustafson, Superior, Barbara Kangas Jacksonville, Fla.; and brother-in-law Peter J. Leone Jr. of Lake Nebagamon. He is also survived by aunts, uncles, nieces, nephew, cousins and students.
A visitation at noon and Celebration of Life at 1 p.m. will be held at UW-Superior in the O. Gayle Manion Theatre in the Holden Fine and Applied Arts Building. Overflow seating will be available in the Black Box Experimental Theatre. Refreshments will be served in the Kruk Gallery following the program. Parking will be allowed in the lots at Holden Fine Arts, the Markovich Wellness Center and on city streets.
Memorials can be sent to Suzie Bednar-Munsell, PO Box 100, Solon Springs WI 54873 for his memorial wishes fund.
Thank you to those who provided medical care especially the student interns, the Solon Springs First Responders/Volunteer Fire Department, those who sent a card or story and offered/provided assistance to us during this journey.