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John Schimenek Sr.

John Schimenek Sr., 90, lifelong Superior area resident, died Friday, Jan. 26, 2007, at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, surrounded by his family. He was born in Superior Dec. 25, 1916, to Frank and Violet (Mergan) Schimenek. He graduated from the ...

John Schimenek Sr., 90, lifelong Superior area resident, died Friday, Jan. 26, 2007, at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, surrounded by his family.

He was born in Superior Dec. 25, 1916, to Frank and Violet (Mergan) Schimenek.

He graduated from the former St. Patrick's Grade School and Cathedral High School.

John served his country in the United States Army Air Force as a B-17 aerial gunner during the Air Offensive European campaign. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, recipient of the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, and an Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, a European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, One Overseas Service Bar, Expert Marksman Medal and was a military firearms instructor training personnel including Clark Gable. He flew in more than 25 aerial missions over Europe. He was honorably discharged with a rank of staff sergeant.

John was a national aquatic instructor, a retired member of the Superior Chapter of the Civil Air Patrol and an active member and volunteer at the Bong Heritage Center along with his friend, Alex Wiesbecki.

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John was employed as a clerk and paymaster with the Burlington Northern Railroad, retiring in 1975. He was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.

John was preceded in death by his wife, Emelia Siekaniec in June of 1994 and his parents.

John was also an avid bush pilot, hunter and fisherman in the upper northern area of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Canada with friends, Don Macor and Ray Breole. John was a member of the Washburn Ski Jumping Club and competed in the St. Paul Winter Carnival and numerous jumping events throughout the Midwest.

He is survived by two sons, Richard (Pam) Schimenek, Cloquet, and John (Wendy) Schimenek, Superior; three daughters, Charlotte (Arthur) Brunje, Bella Vista, Ark., Patricia (Thomas) Higgins, South Range, and Janette McDonnell, Salmon Arm, B.C. Canada; 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Visitation begins after 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and continue until the 10:30 a.m. memorial Mass with the Rev. James Tobolski as celebrant.

Inurnment is being planned for later in the year.

The Downs-LeSage Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

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