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O’Leary (AP)
john o’leary

Posted on Jan. 13, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

Oct. 5, 1931 - Jan. 11, 2013

PORTAGE, Mich. — John O’Leary, 81, passed away Friday, Jan. 11, 2013.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 53 years, Janet.

John was born Oct. 5, 1931, in Los Angeles to the late John William and Irene (Dygert) O’Leary.

He married Janet Joan Wetters on Aug. 4, 1958.

He is survived by their children, Judy (Charles) Meinecke of West Milton, Ohio, Jack (Joanne) O’Leary of Tecumseh, Jill (Fritz) Lambright of Edwardsburg, James (Gwen) O’Leary of Union, Ky., and Joann (Richard) Marotzke of Saginaw; nine grandchildren, Charles (Sarah) Meinecke, Julianne (Andrew) Manning, Allison O’Leary, Elizabeth Meinecke, Theresa O’Leary, Matthew O’Leary, Maxwell O’Leary, Zechariah Marotzke and Faith Marotzke; and two great-grandchildren. Also surviving are two sisters, Irene Phillion of Houston and Ruth Pittman of Saginaw; and one brother, Robert (Nancy) of Grand Rapids.

Besides his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Theresa (infant), Mary Ann Klenke and Patricia Buddy.

John grew up in Saginaw and graduated from St. Peter and Paul High School in 1949.

He went to work at Chevrolet Grey Iron and left the foundry to serve in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, and upon return worked at GM for more than 30 years.

He and Janet and the family resided in Bay City. When they relocated to Kalamazoo, they volunteered to deliver Meals on Wheels and assisted with cancer patient transport. John was a self-taught musician of several instruments and shared his musical talent by playing the piano for local nursing homes. Besides music, he loved making people smile at his jokes, automobiles, the study of science and space, animals (especially dogs) and playing cards (especially pinochle).

He was a faithful husband, loving father and grandfather and provider to his family. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Friends may visit with the family from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, at Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Portage Chapel, 411 E. Centre Ave., where the funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013.

Interment will follow in Fort Custer National Cemetery.

John and Janet both benefited from those who have supported organ donation and the family would like to offer those individuals a special thank you for their gift.

Please visit John’s personalized web page at www.langelands.com.