We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Thelen Funeral Service and Synergy Crematory
John James Kastner, Sr.
On the morning of September 6, 2022, John James Kastner, Sr. died peacefully at his home in Dousman surrounded by his family.
John was born to Joseph C. and Kathryn (Drea) Kastner on March 6, 1941 in Milwaukee. He graduated from Marquette University High School in 1959. A quality education was important to him, so he paid his own high school tuition by delivering newspapers and graduated in 1959. After high school, John served in the Army National Guard from 1960 through 1962. After his honorable discharge, John started his apprenticeship as an electrician. Following that, he started his own electrical contracting business, Kastner Electric, in 1969. John successfully ran his business for almost 40 years. He then worked at Home Depot for many years after retirement, where he made some very close friends and got the recipe for his world famous “Home Depot chili.”
On October 31, 1964, John married his high-school sweetheart, the love of his life and ice dancing partner, Susan Tandberg. During high school John and Susan were crowned CYO Snowball King and Queen. Together, John and Susan raised four loving children, Kristin, John Jr., Kelly and Ryan. Through hard work, dedication and sacrifice, John sent all his children to Catholic Memorial High School and paid for their college education. To thank him for all he had done for them, his kids gifted him his dream trip to Ireland for his 60th birthday, which he enjoyed with his son Ryan.
John loved the outdoors, working on cars, playing softball, watching baseball, reading, studying American history, crossword puzzles, and all his dogs. John, and a few close friends, can be credited with starting youth soccer in the Kettle Moraine area over 40 years ago. He coached all his kids’ sports and never missed a game or a performance. John loved his monthly Sheepshead games with Tom, Oscar, Don and Mike. He loved listening to the music of the leaves in the trees and visiting with his many neighbors and friends.
John was well-known and loved by everyone he knew. Everywhere he went people approached him to say hello and shake his hand. He loved what became known as spring “openers”, carting a half barrel around the neighborhood to help his neighbors ease the pain of spring yard clean-ups. He and Susan hosted many gatherings in their yard, rec room in Brookfield and anywhere they could after they moved to Dousman.
The pride and joy of Poppy’s life after he “retired” were his nine grandchildren – Thora, Reed, Hannah, Ella, Nicholas, William, Owen, Iris and Aidan.
John was preceded in death by his father, Joseph and mother Kathryn. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Susan, and four children Kristin (Jason Mackie), John Jr. (Bee Schlotec), Kelly (David) Fouts and Ryan (Mandy); and nine-grandchildren. John is also survived by his brother Richard (Donna) and sister Jean (John) Vitrano, numerous friends, cousins, nieces and nephews and his best buddy, Cash.
The family is planning a memorial gathering for Saturday, October 15, from 4:30 p.m to 8:00 p.m at Finn’s Bar & Grill in Wales. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in John’s memory to two of his favorite causes, the Nativity Jesuit Academy and St. Bruno Catholic School.