February 1944 – July 2023
John “Jack”R. Verhagen, a native of Kaukauna, WI and a longtime resident of Madison, WI and San Antonio, TX., passed away peacefully on July 23, 2023, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Lorraine Porter Verhagen, son Jeffery Verhagen and daughter-in-law Susan, and two (2) children Nate and Claire Verhagen and daughter Sarah Porter and son-in-law Manny and two (2) children Lauren Porter-Stidham (husband Dylan) and Nico Porter.
Jack left his parent’s farm in Kaukauna to attend the University of Wisconsin -Madison where he obtained both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Jack spent almost 30 years working in federal corrections with the U.S Bureau of Prisons and the Federal Probation System. He started his career as a state probation officer in Appleton, WI. Jack completed his last 15 years as the Chief Probation Officer for the Federal Court, Western-WI in Madison where he retired in 1999. Jack was also a trainer and social work officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, served on active duty during Vietnam and Desert Storm, and retired as a LT. Colonel with over 22 years of military service.
Jack was a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic parish and was active in church ministries as a Eucharistic Minister, Lector Commentator and was a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus. Jack was a longtime member of St Francis Silver Stars and served one year as their President. He was a member of the American Correctional Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the Federal Probation Officers Association. He worked as a volunteer usher with the Majestic Theater and worked over five years as a ride-along domestic abuse counselor once a month with the San Antonio Police Department.
Jack was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends. “We never lose our loved ones. They accompany us; they don’t disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms”. – Paula Coelho