Jan Harmelink, 75, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at his home in Sheboygan after a short battle with cancer.
Jan was born November 12, 1946 in Oostburg, the son of Harold and Bernice (DeYoung) Harmelink. He attended Oostburg High School, before beginning a long career with the US Navy in 1965.
From 1965 to 1967, Jan was a Seabee in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He then returned to Oostburg where he worked in construction, and reenlisted in the Reserves from 1984-1989. For the next 13 years, he worked for the US Military as a recruiter and later, doing advertising. In August of 2002, he retired from his military service, but continued working there as a civilian for another 10 years. He proudly served his country in various capacities for 34 years, and his patriotism and dedication were evident to all he met.
On July 10, 1971 he was united in marriage with Karen Kuether at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Sheboygan. The couple celebrated 50 years together, living in Sheboygan and later Louisiana. The couple moved back to Wisconsin in 2012 but looked forward to wintering in Louisiana and spending time with friends made through Jan’s military service.
Jan was a member of the Oostburg Legion Post #286, where he served as Commander in 1970’s, and again for the past 6 years. He loved his work with fellow Veterans, coordinating the school programs, and participating in funeral honors. He was a current member of the Elk’s Lodge, and a former member of VFW Post #9156 and Sheboygan Moose Lodge #286.
Jan loved fishing with his brothers, golfing with the Oostburg Senior League, traveling, cruises and trips to the casino. He never met a stranger, and bent over backwards for everybody he knew. Above all, he cherished time spent with his family and friends; his never-ending love for his family will live on in their hearts.
Jan is survived by his wife Karen and their daughters: Amy Jo (John) Cinealis of Plymouth and Tammy (Matt) Wray of League City, TX. He is further survived by 4 grandchildren: Amber and JJ Cinealis and Matthew and Taylor Wray; brothers Larry Harmelink (Sue), Darryl (Nancy) Harmelink, Russell (Kathy) Harmelink and James (Debbie) Harmelink; sisters Mary (Phil) Van Driest, Trudy (Steve) Bosman and Lauri (Cary) Tempas; brothers-in-law Val Helmer and Tom (Sandy) Kuether; sisters-in-law Vicki Navis and Patty (Scott) Kohlhagen; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents and sister Bonnie Helmer.
A Memorial Service celebrating Jan’s life will be held at 4:00PM on Thursday, May 19, 2022 at Wenig Funeral Home in Oostburg, with military honors to follow. The family will receive visitors at the funeral home on Thursday from 1:00-4:00.
Jan will be laid to rest at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Kohler.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice or the Camo Quilt Project.
Wenig Funeral Home – Oostburg (920-564-2771) is assisting the family with arrangements. Please visit www.wenigfh.com for more information and online condolences.
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