John Leonard Riesch

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MIDDLETON–John Leonard Riesch, 94, of Middleton, passed away peacefully at home on Sept. 19, 2021. He was born on March 13, 1927, in Alma, the son of John and Anna (Florin) Riesch. The primary cause of death was too many birthdays.

John served in the US Army from 1945 to 1947. Upon discharge, he attended Winona State University where he met the love of his life, Violet Irene Jensen. John and Violet shared a love of fishing, hunting and spent many evenings playing cards and scrabble together. They celebrated 63 years of marriage before Violet passed in 2015.

John was a social studies teacher in Arcadia for 10 years, before moving his growing family to Middleton, where he purchased and owned Riesch Insurance Agency until his retirement.

John took pride in being an active part of the Middleton community throughout his life. He was a member of the Middleton Optimist Club, served as president of the Middleton-Cross Plains school board for six years, and was part of the Middleton Chamber of Commerce.

John loved spending time with his extended family and in his later years was commonly referred to as “Grandpa-the-great.” He loved telling stories, hunting and was a spirited political commentator.

John is survived by his daughters, Paula (Dan Borski) Riesch and Barbara (Jeffrey) Russell; sons, Douglas (Jerol) Riesch and Bradley (Patti) Riesch; nine grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and many relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Violet Irene Riesch; his parents; and three sisters.

A private graveside service will be held at Middleton Junction Cemetery. Memorials may be made in John’s memory to the American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be made at

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