John H. Shoemaker, 95, of St. Paul, died Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, at the Howard County Medical Center in St. Paul.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in St. Paul. The Rev. Vince Parsons will celebrate the Mass. Burial will be in the Elmwood Cemetery in St. Paul, with graveside military honors by the U.S. Army Funeral Honors Team and Carl Mogensen American Legion Post 119 of St. Paul.
Visitation will be Tuesday, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the church, with a 7 p.m. Rosary.
Memorials are suggested to the family for later designation.
The service will be livestreamed on Peters Funeral Home Facebook page. The direct link for that page is www.facebook.com/PetersFuneralHomeSP.
Peters Funeral Home of St. Paul is assisting the family.
John Henry Shoemaker was born December 28, 1926, at Freeport, Illinois, to Harry C. and Viola (Jaeger) Shoemaker. He graduated from Freeport High School and joined the US Army at the age of 17 years. After military service in the Army during WW II, John worked for the railroad as a fireman and in the mines of Colorado before deciding to attend college on the GI Bill. In 1950, he graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. While at CU, John was a member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity.
His first engineering job was with Silas-Mason at the Ordinance Plant in Grand Island where he met his future wife. John married Georgine Havlik in St. Paul, NE, on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 1951. After their wedding, John and Georgine moved back to John’s hometown of Freeport, IL where he worked for Micro Switch Division of Honeywell. Their daughter, Kay, was born in Freeport. Several years later, they moved to Ralston, NE, where John designed and built their family home and worked for Western Electric of Omaha. John obtained his Registered Professional Engineer certification and was personally responsible for several patents while working for Western Electric. Their son, Stephen, was born while they were living in Ralston. In 1964, John and Georgine moved to rural Dannebrog, Nebraska, where John began farming and feeding cattle with his brother-in-law, Otto Havlik. The family moved to St. Paul, NE, in 1975 while John continued to farm until his retirement in 2004. Georgine Shoemaker passed away in 1994. John was an intellectual hard-working man who dedicated his entire life to his family, faith, and community. He lived at Matelyn Retirement Community for the last four years of his life and served on their board.
John served on the St. Paul School board, including as president, from 1968-1976. Governor James J. Exon appointed John to the Nebraska Navy and also to the Nebraska Power Review board in 1972 on which he served for ten years. John also served on the St. Paul City Council for twenty years. John was a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Parish, Knights of Columbus, and the American Legion. He was a pilot and a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). He built an airplane in his free time. John was an avid reader and an accomplished machinist. John was also an active member of the Butler-Saunders Chapter of Nebraska Blacksmiths, Welders and Machinists Association.
He is survived by his son and wife, Steve and Zelda Shoemaker of Grand Island; son-in-law Daniel Bradley of Renton, WA; granddaughters Lindsey Shoemaker of Montrose, CO, and Dr. Lauren Shoemaker of Omaha; grandson Samuel Bradley and great-grandson Jameson Bradley, all of Gig Harbor, WA.
John was preceded in death by his wife Georgine, daughter Kay (Shoemaker) Bradley, grandson Nicholas Bradley, his parents, an infant brother, and a half-brother Harry Shoemaker Jr.