Gerald R. Johanning went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, March 15, 2015. He was born in Racine, WI to Wallace and Louise (Blaesing) Johanning on February 6, 1935 and became a baptized child of God on February 24, 1935.
Jerry graduated from Racine Lutheran High School in 1953. He went on to attend Valparaiso University, graduating in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. He began his first teaching position in Wheatfield, IN and then taught at Morgan Township School, IN – both near Valparaiso. From 1964 to 1979 he was the High School Band Director in Belvidere, IL. He earned a Master’s Degree in 1972 from Northern Illinois University. During his years as band director, the Belvidere High School Band received many Superior (1) ratings. The band was rated as one of the finest bands in IL during the Bicentennial year of 1976. From Belvidere, IL he moved on to Minocqua-Woodruff (WI) to head the music department at Lakeland Union High School. In 1982 he accepted a call to head up the music department at Northland Lutheran High School, located in Merrill, WI. He retired in 2000 as grade school band director for Wisconsin Lutheran High School in Milwaukee.
Jerry was very active throughout his years, playing trumpet for many musical organizations including the Gary (IN) Symphony, the Rockford (IL) Symphony, Boone County Heritage Band, Merrill City Band, the West Allis Community Band, the Oconomowoc American Legion Band, the Greenfield Concert Band, and the First Brigade Civil War Band. In addition to the community organizations, he regularly added his talents to the festival worship services of his home congregations and sang bass in the church choir. He was also an avid model railroader and participated in many clubs and events in the North Central IL, South Central WI, and North Central WI areas.
Jerry met his wife, Sue (Muenchow) while a student at Valparaiso University. They were married in June of 1960 and were blessed to have nearly 55 years together as husband and wife. He is survived by his wife and three daughters – Laura (Tim) Nye of Elkhart, IN; Linda, and LeAnn Johanning; both of Milwaukee. He was blessed with two granddaughters – Gabrielle and Sara Nye. He is also survived by one brother, Charles (Rita) Johanning of Kronenwetter, WI, 5 nephews, and multiple cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and one older brother, Donald Johanning of Ashland, WI.
Visitation will take place at ST. JOHN’S EV. LUTHERAN CHURCH, 7809 Harwood Ave, on Thursday, March 19th from 3:30-6PM, followed by funeral service at 6PM. Interment Pine Grove Cemetery, Wausau.
Memorials can be made to St. John’s Lutheran Church (Wauwatosa), Wisconsin Lutheran High School, or Racine Lutheran High School.
Special thanks to Dr. Ben George and his staff at Froedtert Clinical Cancer Center for their sincere care and compassion.