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John M. Smejkal

December 25, 1943 ~ May 23, 2020 (age 76)


     John M. Smejkal, 76, of Gills Rock, Ellison Bay, passed away Saturday, May 23, 2020.

     He was born December 25, 1943 in Chicago, IL, the son of the late Walter and Harriett (Seyller) Smejkal. His family moved to Manitowoc in the early 1950’s when his father, Dr. Walter Smejkal, started the Manitowoc Clinic with colleagues. John graduated from Manitowoc Lincoln High School in 1962 before attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied Art. He married Ann Sanstadt in Madison 1975.  They lived in Door County on the family property in Gills Rock, then moved to Kohler prior to settling in Sheboygan Falls. John’s creative artistic abilities guided his business opportunity in advertising in creating sign advertising in the lakeshore area. He owned and operated JMS design in the Sheboygan area. He never truly retired as he moved full time to Door County to enjoy his family’s property “Wide Waters”.

     John had many interests and hobbies including a love for art. He was a talented artist, sign painter and woodworker. John especially loved his property Wide Waters in Gills Rock, WI where he was happiest enjoying its scenery and wildlife. Having lived on or near Lake Michigan his whole life fostered John’s talent of sailing in his younger years. John also enjoyed playing golf, fixing up his sailboat and telling endless amounts of jokes and riddles to his family and friends.

     He is survived by his three children, Ian Smejkal of LaCrosse, Elizabeth (Lee) Pederson of LaCrosse, and Ben Smejkal of Minneapolis, MN and their mother, Ann Smejkal of LaCrosse;  five grandsons, Ethan and Evan Smejkal, and Christopher, Alexander, and Andrew Pederson; brother-in-law, Donald Pankratz of Kiel; and good friend, Arthur Weborg.

     John was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Harriett Smejkal; sister, Sally Pankratz; daughter-in-law, Rebekah Lynne (Greenbush) Smejkal.

     Due to the current pandemic, plans for a memorial service will be postponed and announced at a later date.

     Memorials may be made in his memory. 

     Casperson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Sister Bay is assisting the family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of John may be shared with his family through his tribute page at



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