Obituary: Jon Hollingshead

Jon Hollingshead, 77, of the Town of Sevastopol, left this earthly world March 11, 2018, overlooking his meadow and woods. He was born Aug. 7, 1940 in Waukegan, Ill. to John and Frances (Campbell) Hollingshead. Jon grew up in Zion, Ill., the oldest of three children.

Jon graduated from Zion-Benton Township High School in 1958 and began his collegiate studies in engineering at Georgia Tech. After a year, he went on to study psychology at Taylor University in Upland, Ind. where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He received his master’s degree in Science Education from National Lewis University.

Following his college graduation, Jon worked for the former Christian Catholic Church of Zion. He was greatly influenced by his experiences with the Native Americans at Inscription House Mission on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. The following year, he continued his volunteer activities by leading young people on 230-mile bike adventures from Zion, Ill. to Camp Zion at the tip of Ellison Bay.

Jon met his wife, Judy Johnson, while she was a student at Carthage College, and they spent nearly 49 lovely years together. They married on July 12, 1969 at Grace Lutheran Church in Green Bay. Their early dating years were spent biking, canoeing, skiing, and swimming in Door County. Many exciting adventures involved a dune buggy, built by Jon.

Jon’s working career involved employment with the Chicago Public schools, as a family instructor in a residential truant home. He then spent over 30 years as a well-respected teacher with the Deerfield Public school system, first as 6th grade teacher at Kipling Elementary, and later, a science teacher at Shepard Middle School. When the microcomputer came on the scene, Jon’s natural electronic abilities kicked in, and he very successfully ran the computer lab until his retirement in 2001, encouraging even the most reluctant teachers to get involved in computer education. Jon pioneered the Lego robotics program at Shepard following training at the First Foundation in Manchester, NH.

Amateur Radio was always a part of Jon’s life. He received his license, K9BIO, at the age of 13, and in the 1980’s, he wrote and taught Amateur Radio Courses at the Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka, Ill., eventually receiving the Teacher of the Year Award. He was active in the Door County Amateur Radio Society, where he was the Treasurer for many years.

Jon had a strong and insightful-filled faith. He was a member of the Jacksonport United Methodist Church where he first endeared himself to the church ladies, by cleaning the outhouse. He was a peacebuilding lay leader and staff parish leader at both the Jacksonport and Sturgeon Bay Methodist churches, and he looked forward to the healthy discussion of the Forum Group on Sunday mornings.

Jon was truly a Renaissance man. He built his retirement home one board at a time and designed a pond and a labyrinth on his property. He was the host of the annual family 4th of July picnic, he mastered the art of the Door County fish boil, and he was a collector of maple sap that was boiled down into delicious syrup for the Danish aebleskivers he was adept at cooking. He enjoyed playing the guitar and the banjo and he planned wonderful family trips: biking in Denmark, sailing up the Norwegian coastline on the Hurtegruten, and canoeing in the boundary waters.

He absolutely loved sailing the Odyssey in the Thursday night Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club races, and though his Methodist team often came in last, they had the most fun of any boat. He skied the Birkebeiner race, and paddled in the Des Plaines River Canoe Marathon.  He enjoyed hiking with his dog, Daisy, playing the guitar and the banjo, and he appreciated all the silent sports of biking, canoeing, sailing and cross-country skiing. His love of Door County was apparent as he was a former board member of the Door County Land Trust, and a lifetime member of The Friends of Toft Point, and The Ridges Sanctuary.

He was eclectic in his reading, but especially enjoyed Donna Leon and Tony Hillerman. He was always eager to share his latest book with all who would listen.

Carrying on Jon’s delightful memory are his beloved wife, Judy; and his amazing children, Julie (Scott) Souza of Appleton, and Thomas “Max” (Janelle) Hollingshead of Chicago. He was the best Grandpa to William and Charlotte Souza, and Wesley and Amelie Hollingshead. He is further survived by a brother, Tim (Laura) Hollingshead of Beaver Creek, OH, and a sister, Jill (Howard) Sadkin of Scottsdale, AZ. Jon will also be missed by his brother-in-law, Bill (Kris) Johnson of Green Bay; and four lovely nieces, Allison Miller, Amanda Johnson, Abigail Smayda, and Emma Williams; great niece, Mia Williams, and great-nephew, Matthew Miller. Jon was preceded in death by his parents; and parents-in-law, George and Virginia (Wilson) Johnson.

His life will be celebrated with a visitation at 10 am and a memorial service held at 11 am on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at the Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church with Rev. David Leistra officiating. Burial will be in Little Sister Cemetery in the Town of Liberty Grove.

Instead of flowers, memorials may be given in Jon’s honor to the Jacksonport United Methodist Church (mail to: 836 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay, WI), the Door County Land Trust (PO Box 65, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235), or The Healing Project (P.O. Box 230, Sturgeon Bay, WI 52435).

“The Hollingshead family is grateful to Dr. Tomasz Michalski of the Door County Medical Center, Dr. Hedy Kindler of the University of Chicago Medical Center, and Unity Hospice for the wonderful and compassionate care given to Jon.”

Huehns Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Sturgeon Bay is assisting the Hollingshead family with arrangements. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Jon may be shared with his family through his tribute page at

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