John J. Tracy, 72, of Willmar, died Sunday, June 21st at his home. A visitation will be held on Monday, June 29th from 10-11:30 am at Mundwiler Funeral Home in Milbank, SD, with a prayer service celebrating his life at 11:30 am. Interment with Military Honors will be in Milbank City Cemetery. Memorials may be sent to: Family of John Tracy, c/o Harvey Anderson Funeral Home, 1000 19th Ave SW, Willmar, MN 56201. Arrangements are with Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar. www.hafh.org
John Jerome Tracy was born December 31, 1947, in Sisseton, South Dakota to John and Ann (Westermeyer) Tracy. He grew up in Browns Valley, Minnesota. He talked often of working at his aunt Sis (Barb) and uncle Otto’s farm. On December 27, 1965, he left high school and enlisted in the US Marine Corps. He served in Vietnam and was honorably discharged on December 13, 1968.
On December 20, 1969, he married Carol Kelly at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Browns Valley. They lived in Big Stone City and Springfield before moving to Shirley Basin, Wyoming in 1976. He worked at the Pathfinder Uranium Mine. He thoroughly enjoyed living on the prairie and teaching his daughters all it had to offer - hunting, trapping, riding motorcycles and snowmobiles, and camping in the mountains. He was active in teaching Catechism, coaching baseball and boxing, as well as helping out at the little K-6th grade school. In 1984 the little mining town was closing and he moved his family back to South Dakota where he worked at the Big Stone Cheese Factory and Grant County Implement. Following Carol’s death, he moved to Willmar.
He was very proud of his family, especially his enjoyment of harassing his sons-in-law. He took great pride watching his daughter’s and grandchildren’s activities and, of course, cheering on (or yelling at) the Vikings. He could strike up a conversation with just about anyone, and you never had to wonder what he was thinking.
He’ll be remembered for his stories, Pinochle playing and quick one-liners.
His motto was “do it while you can .... and give ‘em h*** doing it.”
He is survived by his daughters: Wendy (and Nathan) Streed, Kelly (and Bradley Pederson) O’Farrell, both of Willmar, and Barb (and Chris) Dohrer of Aberdeen; his grandchildren: Isaiah (and Megan), Zech, Noah, Kaden and Jacob Streed; Colin O’Farrell, Crosby and Ella Pederson; Jonah, Micah and Emma Dohrer; great granddaughter, Kennedy Streed; sister, Eleanor Pavin; brothers-in-law, Pat Minahan, Wayne (and Lorraine) Kelly and Ronnie (and Julie) Kelly; sisters-in-law, Phyllis Martinek, Gail Kelly, Elaine (and Richard) Jones, Linda Kelly (and Lowell) and Vickie Nelson, and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Carol; brothers: Clyde, Jim, and Cort Tracy; his sisters: Sylvia Cardwell, Jeanette Minahan and Phyllis Simonson, and his Godson, Michael Pavin.
His family would like to thank the nurses, doctors and care staff at Rice Dialysis. He enjoyed visiting with or “picking on” you, and spoke highly of your care for him. Thank you!