John R. Cummings

ENDEAVOR – On March 12th, John R Cummings died in the home he built overlooking his beloved farm and Angus cattle with his beloved wife at his side. 

Born to Max and Alice Cummings on January 2nd, 1932 he lived his whole life in Marquette County.  John attended the Emerson School, and graduated from Endeavor High School in 1950.  John married Jeanne Alf on November 14th, 1953.  They said it would never last, but they fooled everyone having been married for 63 ½ years!

John traveled all over the world.  He enjoyed visiting Germany, Italy, Ireland, Canada, Mexico and Alaska.  John started raising chickens as a youngster and continued in all facets of the poultry business and was very proud to have been asked to travel to Bosnia after their war to teach them how to start a Poultry Industry.   John was one of a select group that mastered the art of caponizing chickens.  We are still waiting to hear back from Guinness World Records to see if he holds the record for the most chickens caponized in an hour.  John worked side by side with his brother-in-law, Smokie, helping run Dairy Land Poultry.  When his oldest son proved to be allergic to chickens John and his wife Jeanne started the Chicken Inn Restaurant and gas station.  With the urging of his children he started raising registered Angus which became his favorite interest.

John was the last remaining charter member of the Endeavor Lions Club having served 62 years.  Serving being the ‘key’ word.  When John wasn’t able to help as much with the Endeavor Broiler Fest it took three people to try to do what he did, as he spent months preparing for the big day.  John also was a scout leader, took the cub scouts camping, was one of the original Endeavor Fireman, and was an Elder of Trinity Lutheran Church, Packwaukee.  John enjoyed gathering with the class of 1950 friends and loved a party.  John was extremely proud of his children and loved his precious grandkids.

John is survived by his loving wife Jeanne, son Jeff (Vivian Powell) of Henderson NV, son Jerry (Tammy) of Endeavor and their children Alyson of Crystal MN, and Harrison of Sheridan WY, and son Jack (Kathy) and their children Nicole of Madison, and Shyla of Marquette MI, son-in-law Jay DeGroot of DePere and his daughter Madison.   He was also survived by his sisters Ethelyn Wilson and Esther Rutherford his brother-in-law Jim (Peggy) Alf and sisters-in-law Phyllis Bullard and Barbara Cummings.

The saddest day of John’s life was the day he lost his precious daughter Jennifer DeGroot.  John was also preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Cora Mae, Ruth Ann, his brother Robert and his brother-in-law Smokie (Donald) Alf.

Jeanne would like to say thank you to her children for helping her make it possible for John R to end life at home.  Also thanks to Erin, Tammy, Eileen and all the great Agrace helpers.  Thank you also to Dr. Dambach and Dr. Przbilski and all who treated him so kindly.  

“From humble beginnings hard work brought much success.”

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Packwaukee, with Rev. Larry Sheppard officiating.  Inurnment will be private.  Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 17, 2017, with a eulogy at 7:00 p.m. at the Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage, and from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. on Saturday at the church.

John loved celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, so please wear green to the visitation.

In lieu of flowers the family asks donations be made in John’s name to the Endeavor Lion’s Club to go toward the Lion’s Camp in Rosholt or the Lion’s Scholarship Fund, or Project Healing Waters.





For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)