John F. Schwefel, 81, of Watertown, passed away peacefully on Sunday morning, March 6, 2022 at Marquardt Health Center in Watertown.
John was born on March 18, 1940 in Watertown, the son of Charles and Elsie (Born) Schwefel. There he graduated from St. John's Lutheran Grade School, attended Northwestern Prep School and Watertown High School. At the age of 16, John joined the National Guard, but only with his mother's permission and signature because he was too young to join on his own. Soon thereafter John joined the US Army and was based in Fort Bragg NC where he served in active duty until 1965. While in the US Army John was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne, which specialized in parachute assault operations into denied areas. He was part of the Green Berets and the 3rd US Army Division where he was a recognized marksman. John also served in the Army Reserves. Early on in his career, John owned and operated a gun repair shop, and he worked as a repair mechanic for heavy machinery. He worked as a machinist at Waukesha Pumps and was a truck driver for many years. John was a hard worker, and he could fix anything. He enjoyed a number of hobbies including gun smithing, woodworking, leather working, sewing and restoring the Bolens brand of garden tractors. He also enjoyed reading his Bible, the King James version, and would often reference scripture when talking about current events. John loved the wide-open spaces of the western United States, and he had a passion for the native Americans. Throughout his travels, he would purchase native American items as a way of support.
John is survived by: his sons John (Elaine) Schwefel Jr. of Winnabow NC and James (Cindy) Schwefel of Fishers IN, his daughters Bonnie Drew of Wilmington NC and Beckie Ballard of West Jefferson NC, his grandsons Camden Ballard, Hayden Watkins, Alex Schwefel, Joshua Schwefel and Thomas Ballard, his granddaughter Paige (Tyler) Hales, and his great-grandchildren Brooklyn and Parker Hales and his siblings Ruth Dobbratz of Madison, Ruben (Marji) Schwefel of Dousman, Marie Dobbratz and Ora Kuckkan, both of Watertown. He is also survived by nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, sister Myrtle Hrobsky, brother Roy Schwefel and brother Wilmar Schwefel.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, April 9, 2022 at the Schmutlzer-Vick Funeral Home (next to Farm N Fleet) with Rev. Ray Bezanson presiding. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 9:00am until the time of service. Burial will take place later that day at the Lutheran Cemetery in Watertown.
Memorials in John’s honor to Shepard's Chapel- 102 8th Ave NE. Gravette, AR 72736 or Marquardt Health Center would be appreciated.