As his family and friends can attest, John Wasmundt, Jr. was larger than life, however, it will be his huge heart that is his lasting legacy. He was kindhearted, genuine, and generous – the sort of person who would do whatever he could for those around him. Together John and his beloved wife were truly an inspiration as their marriage was one that was deeply rooted in friendship, companionship, and selfless acts of service towards one another. A loving and devoted father, life came full circle for John when grandchildren arrived, and it was easy to see the sparkle they put in his eye whenever they were near. Faith was a cornerstone throughout his entire journey, and it is through the gift of faith that he instilled within his children that his love will never end.
When the 1950s were drawing to a close, America was poised for great change. The decade brought us Elvis Presley and rock ‘n roll music as well as a growing number of televisions in households all across the nation. Also during this time civil rights was gaining momentum while the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union left both countries hoping to be the first to put a man on the moon. It was in 1959 that John R. and Beverly (Bidwell) Wasmundt were pleased to announce the birth of their baby boy on August 2nd in Racine, Wisconsin. John Ralph Jr. was the oldest of three children in his family and was raised alongside his younger brother, James, and 22 foster children that his parents took in from 1966 until 1971. The family welcomed the birth of his younger sister, Kristine in 1972. He was a typical big brother who was later filled with good advice for his younger siblings who fully appreciated all the wisdom he gave. John loved his family dearly and was very protective of them and others as he never liked to see people hurting.
While he was still quite young John and his family moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he spent the bulk of his formative years. He was a student at local schools and discovered at a young age that he was blessed musically. John had an instinctive ear for music, and there was not an instrument that he couldn’t play. In both junior high and high school he played in the band. John then went on to graduate from Mary D. Bradford High School in 1977.
New and exciting changes were in store for John when through a friend of the family he met a young girl at church in Princeton, IL who would forever hold the key to his heart; her name was Pamela Joy Stone. Both John and Pamela were smitten right from the start, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together the sweethearts were married on March 16, 1978, in Princeton, Illinois. John was Pamela’s hero, her Superman, and John affectionately called Pam his “PJ.” Together they welcomed their two sons, Joshua and James, into their hearts and home, raising their family in Kenosha, WI until the boys were ages 6 and 4. Then the family moved to the Sandusky, Ohio area where John and Pamela became youth ministers at Life Tabernacle Church. In 1996 the family moved to the south suburbs of Chicago, Illinois where they became the children and youth ministers. In 2000 John and Pam started TNT Church
John cherished his wife and their sons. He was a man of unwavering faith whose spiritual leadership in the home was clearly evident. John faithfully prayed over his family in the morning, and he instilled within his sons a love for both God and others. He had an authoritative voice, but he was also filled with inspirational words of encouragement for his family. There was certainly no shortage of bear hugs as long as John was around either. As his sons grew older and established families of their own, his presence, his teaching, and his wisdom was still a constant in their lives. John also showed his commitment to Pamela by renewing their love and commitment in a 25th wedding rededication ceremony in 2003. There were also priceless times shared as a family on trips to the Bahamas as well as trips to Florida with family and friends. One of John’s greatest adventures was the cruise that he and Pamela took to Alaska, in celebration of her 50th birthday. The Wasmundt family shared special times together such as the Christmas of 2011 when they celebrated at the lake house in Northern Indiana. John enjoyed making up stories for his grandchildren, and it was easy to see that they loved his stories since they always kept asking for more.
There were countless experiences that enriched John’s journey throughout his life. He worked as a technical recruiter for Technical Resources. John worked various jobs, sometimes two jobs always providing for his family however, perhaps of greater significance was his role as a minister of the gospel. John and Pamela purchased a home in Lakeland, Florida, as a getaway home, but this location also allowed them to be near the Cool Waters Ministries that they were so involved in. Additionally, he enjoyed fishing, the Chicago Cubs, the Green Bay Packers, antiquing and refinishing cabinets and furniture. His love for singing remained, and John and Pamela enjoyed singing together and harmonized during church services.
Although he was taken from his loved ones much too soon, John Wasmundt, Jr. made a significant impact on the people and things around him that will never fade away. He was a God fearing man who loved his Savior with all his heart, and his devotion to his family was unmatched. It has been said that John had a heart that was larger than life as his compassion and selfless acts of service extended to all who were near. He told the best stories and rooted everything he said and did firmly in the faith that was a cornerstone in his life. John will be deeply missed, but his family and friends find comfort in knowing that he is enjoying perfect peace in his eternal home.
John R. Wasmundt, Jr., of Chicago Heights, IL, died on September 28, 2014. John’s family includes his wife, Pamela Joy “PJ” Wasmundt; sons, Joshua Paul (Holly A.) Wasmundt and James Michael (Nicole) Wasmundt; grandchildren, Lillian, Maddisyn, and Noah; Addilyn and Nolan; parents, John R. Sr. and Beverly Wasmundt; siblings, James Wasmundt and Kristine (Mark) Wick; nieces and nephews, Paul and Caitlyn Wasmundt and Kevin, Matthew, and Allison Wick; and other relatives and friends. Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 2, 2014, from 2 p.m. until time of the Memorial Service at 5 p.m. at Apostolic Faith Church, 1021 95th St. Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Cool Waters Ministries, 4871 Lakeland Harbor Circle, Lakeland, FL 33805. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to leave a memory or sign the online guestbook.
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