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Old 01-13-2008, 12:50 AM
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John D. McCarten, 68, Wausau, WI

John D. McCarten, 68, of 1325 Torney Ave., Wausau, died Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008, at home.

John was born Oct. 6, 1939, in Wausau, the son of Edgar F. and Sophia A. (Graykowski) McCarten. John married the love of his life, Mary Lou Dalbec, on June 10, 1961.

John was a 1957 graduate of Wausau High School, and let's not forget a graduate of the Vangalis Pool Hall. John served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1958 through 1961. He was a radio operator attached to the 1st Anglico FMF Unit stationed at Fort Smith, Hawaii. In 1967, John graduated from the Molar Barber College in Chicago. John began his barbering career alongside his father, Edgar, opening the Sportsman's Barber Shop in the 300 block on Washington Street in Wausau. Edgar retired in 1977. During the development of the Wausau Center mall, John opened John's Barber Shop on East Kent Street. "John the Barber," working in the Wausau community for 40 years, never considered retirement.

John was a member of the Elks Lodge No. 248 for 31 years and was an original member and cheese curd chef for the Newman Community Festival in the '80s.

John lived a good and full life. He developed a lifelong love of hunting and fishing through the companionship of his father and brother. He enjoyed a lively debate at the kitchen table encircled by family and friends as well as the quiet light of the sunrise. The gentle, solid constancy of his life with his best friend and wife, Mary Lou, gave perfect balance to his enjoyment and hope for both the individual beauty and unity of his four children, seven grandchildren and hundreds of relatives and true friends. John had a grand appreciation for the quietness of the early morning, the nurturing perfection of a well-made meal, the swelling of old-time classic country music in the car, political shows with Chris Matthews, George Stephanopoulos and Tim Russert, the thrill of watching the Green Bay Packers and NASCAR racing, fishing at dusk on his pontoon, sweatshirts and jeans long past prime and stolen weekend catnaps. John taught many things to his children. "Don't drive so fast" and "watch your bobber" were some of many words of wisdom he shared with them. John dwelled in the wonder, adventure and love of life, and it was his gift and lasting remembrance to us -- his family, neighbors, friends and patrons.

John is survived by his wife, Mary Lou (Dalbec) McCarten, Wausau; four children, Christa McCarten, Wausau, Kelley (Keith) Kolpitcke, Hidden Springs, Idaho, Karen (Christopher) Zanon, Hortonville, and Patrick McCarten, Verona; and seven grandchildren, Amanda Kolpitcke, Chandler, Ariz., Jordan and Lindsay Kolpitcke, both of Meridian, Idaho, Carter and Jack Kolpitcke, both of Hidden Springs, Caroline Zanon, Hortonville, and Jameson McCarten, Verona. John is further survived by two sisters, Elizabeth Michlig and Julia Magrecke, both of Wausau; sister-in-law, Sandra (Lyle) Leith, Wausau; father-in-law, Ellsworth (Marilyn) Stein, Grand Junction, Colo.; and many nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by his parents; mother- and father-in-law, Edna and Robert Dalbec; brother and sister-in-law, Michael and Carol McCarten; and granddaughter, Bobbi Zanon.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008, at The Church of the Resurrection, Wausau. The Rev. Daniel Hackel will officiate. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of services Saturday at the church. A private burial will be in St. Joseph's Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Jon Werner, Medinah, Ill., Ray Sondelski, Mosinee, Fabian Shulta, Fred Strunk, Wally Legenza and Eric Bridge, all of Wausau.

In lieu of flowers, a college fund has been established for his beloved grandchildren.

Brainard Funeral Home, Wausau, is assisting the family with arrangements.

The family would like to thank the EMTs from the Wausau Fire Department for their quick, professional and compassionate response.

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me
When tomorrow starts without me
and I am not here to see,
if the sun should rise and find your eyes
all filled with tears of me.
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
the way you did today,
while thinking of the many things
we didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me,
as much as I love you,
and each time you think of me
I know you'll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me,
please try and understand,
that an angel came and called my name
and took me by the hand. -- Anonymous

"A golden heart stopped beating. Hard-working hands now rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best."


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