John David Weimer, age 81, of Niles, Michigan died at 2:15 p.m. on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017 following an extended illness. He passed away at his home with his daughters at his bedside.
He was born on January 28, 1936 in Niles to Willard Keith and Fern V. (Vanderbeck) Weimer. As a child, he moved with his family to Oregon, where he graduated from Brownsville High School in 1953. He enlisted in the United States Army, serving three years of active duty as a cook, followed by a year of reserve duty. He was honorably discharged as Sergeant 1st Class, and a Veteran of the Korean Conflict. He returned to Oregon and continued his education at Oregon College of Education at Monmouth (now Western Oregon University). In 1960, he returned to Niles where he worked for Kawneer Corporation, both at the former Niles plant and their Harrisonburg, VA, plant, and retired after twenty-five years. He then retired from the National-Standard Corporation after working there for twelve years.
John attended the First Baptist Church in Niles. As a young man he sang bass in the Glee Club at high school and had worked as a lumberjack. He enjoyed playing volleyball, bowling in area leagues, and golfing in the Kawneer league. He had continued his interest in athletics as a fan of the women’s varsity teams at the University of Notre Dame and held season tickets for softball, volleyball, and basketball. John also enjoyed the fine arts, including theater (especially “Fiddler on the Roof”) and orchestral performances. He was very interested in the history of World War II, watching movies with that focus, collecting books, and taking a World War II tour of Europe upon his retirement. His greatest interest was his family, always supporting the activities of his children and grandchildren.
On September 23, 1961 at Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles he married the former Catharine L. (Kay) McDonald. John and Kay celebrated the fifty-fourth wedding anniversary just a month prior to her death on October 22, 2015. He was also preceded in death by his parents and by a sister, Marna Barnes.
Surviving family includes his daughters, Sheila (Brien) Jenkins of Saint Joseph, Michigan and Karen Weimer and Maureen (Mark) Hogue, both of Niles; grandchildren Kristin Hogue, Shannon Jenkins, and Dustin Jenkins; and John’s brother, Van (Susan) Weimer of Grosse Isle, Michigan and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family wishes to thank Vanessa, Tasha, and Susan from Hospice for helping them care for John these past few months.
The funeral service for John Weimer will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home in Niles. Committal rites will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Niles, and will conclude with Full Military Honors by the United States Army Honor Guard and American Legion Post #51 of Buchanan, Michigan.
The family will receive relatives and friends Friday, April 21, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Contributions in John’s memory may be made to the Niles High School Band Boosters, c/o Niles High School, 1441 Eagle Street, Niles, Michigan 49120; or to the Humane Society of Southwest Michigan, 641 South Crystal Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022.