Jack T. Tesch, age 75, of Christmas, died unexpectedly at his home on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. He was born on October 28, 1944 in Excelsior, Minnesota to Ralph and Shirley (Adams) Tesch. Jack grew up in Lake Alice Township and graduated from Park Rapids High School in 1962. He went to trade school where he learned how to be a heavy equipment operator. Jack served stateside in the US Army from 1964-1967 during the Vietnam War. He served at Fort Hood, TX in the tank division in the armored training battalion. He trained soldiers to operate heavy equipment and tank retrieval. Following his service to our country, he did active duty for 15 years in the Minnesota Army National Guards. Jack married Donna Mellem on January 16, 1971 and together raised their two children. He and his brother, Tim, had a logging business for many years before Jack went back to operating heavy equipment. He was a member of the Park Rapids American Legion, the Trinity Lutheran Church in Lake George, and a life member of the NRA. He and Donna were married nearly twenty-five years when she preceded him in death on May 16, 1995. Through his sister Marty, Jack met Sharon (Jousma) McCarthy who had also been widowed. Within weeks they decided to marry and in less than six months they were joined in matrimony on August 29, 1998. Their two families were blended into one. Sharon and Jack both worked as heavy equipment operators. They decided to split the difference between Grand Rapids, Michigan and Grand Rapids, Minnesota and made their home in Christmas in 2002. Sharon owned Santa’s Workshop and Jack would make special guest appearances as Christmas’ own Santa. He continued to work for BACCO until his retirement over ten years ago. He had a strong and beautiful faith in Jesus and was a member of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Munising. He and Sharon were instrumental in starting the Christmas Village Civic Association. Jack enjoyed hunting, fishing, woodworking, working crossword puzzles, and refurbishing antique furniture. He also enjoyed shooting and cleaning his guns and reloading his own bullets. Jack loved spending time with his grandchildren.
Jack is survived by his loving wife – Sharon Tesch of Christmas; children – Robert “Ted” (Jolene) Tesch of Lake Alice Township, MN and Cindy (Nathanael Holloway) Tesch of Munising; step-children – Robert (Robin) McCarthy of Kalamazoo, MI, Patrick (Robin) McCarthy of Caledonia, MI, Audra “Buffy” (Gary) Becker of Grandville, MI, Theresa (Randy) Bursley of Byron Center, MI, and Matthew (Carrie) McCarthy of Bruce Crossing, MI; grandchildren – Jenna, Jordan, Bryant, Jaelyn, Sean (Claudia), Taylor (Brandon), Joshua, Robbie, Amy, Nicholas, Kaitlyn (Rick), Faith (Jameson), Melanee, R.J., Kellie (Ethan), Daniel, Kimberly, Ashley (Sam), Erika, Dylan, and Laura (Paul); great-grandson – Grayson; sisters – Sharon Bird of Minnesota and Marty Barbour of Colorado; brother – Tim (Rita) Tesch of Ohio; and numerous nieces and nephews. Jack was preceded in death by his parents and wife Donna.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 12:00 noon at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Munising with Pastor Mark Werner officiating Jack’s service.
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