School 16


John A. Minsky

July 27, 1928 ~ March 16, 2019 (age 90)
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John Minsky, 90, of St. Johns Michigan, passed away peacefully at home and surrounded by family. on Saturday March 16, 2019.  He was born July 27, 1928 in Berlin, Wisconsin, the son of John J. and Lillian (Spritka) Minsky.  John graduated from Berlin High School in 1946 and shortly thereafter joined the U.S. Army, where he was proud to serve in the 511th Parachute Regiment of the U.S. Army in Japan.  After leaving the Army he returned to Wisconsin to attend St. Norbert College near Green Bay, where he graduated in 1954 with a B.A. in Business Administration and a minor in Philosophy.  He worked for Charmin Paper in Marquette and Cheboygan before turning to teaching, first in Mackinaw City for three years, and then retiring after 27 years at St. Johns Middle School in 1992. John was a man of many talents and interests, and rarely did things simply half-way.  His shelves were lined with books on a vast range of topics: from politics to health, from history to philosophy, and from nature to culture.  When John developed an interest, he pursued it with the passion of the life-long student he was.  During his education career, he received a U.S. Patent for teaching the slide rule, which was a source of pride for both John and his family.  He was committed to health and wellness throughout his adult years - he read constantly about nutrition and fitness, ran dozens of road races (including a 100-mile marathon in his 40s) and even borrowed boxing gloves in his 80s to try his hand (literally) at a new style of exercise.  In retirement, he decided to grow roses, learned all he could (and became an American Horticulture Society Certified Master Gardner in the process) and won a blue ribbon the first year he entered the Greater Lansing Rose Society competition with a single rose.  He later served as the Rose Society President and planted a yard full of beautiful flowers. He was also well known in mid-Michigan for his 25 years as an actor at the Lansing  Riverwalk Theatre, Lansing Civic Players, and Lansing Community College Theatre Program, as well as the Ledges Playhouse in Grand Ledge. He loved music, politics, nature, and a good laugh.  His famous saying and wisest advice was “Life is Good, huh?!”

He is survived by his wife Arline of St. Johns; sister Mary Christianson of Winchester, VA; children Ken Minsky of Peel, AR, Greg (Donnette) Minsky of Perrinton, Jenny (Frank) Lynn of Grand Rapids, and daughter-in-law Kathy Minsky of St. Johns; step-children Brad (Tami) Rullman of Valparaiso, IN, Brenda (Jim) Julovich of Bloomington, IN, Loren (Allison) Rullman of Ann Arbor; grandchildren Solitaire, Josh, Nick, Danny, Lisa, Michael, Sam, Sarah, Cailey, and Miranda.  He was preceded in death by his son Jack and his first wife, Betty Jane Minsky.                       The family would like to thank Sparrow Health System Hospice Service for its special care over the last several months. 

A memorial service to honor John’s life will be held at 2:00 P.M. on May 18 at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home in St. Johns.  The family will receive friends and relatives beginning at 1:00 P.M. until service time.Those wishing to make a contribution in John’s honor may do so with Michigan State University Opera Programs by contacting Rebecca Surian, Senior Director of Development at the MSU College of Music, 333 W. Circle Drive, Room 103, East Lansing, MI 48824, (517) 353-9872 or

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