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Dr. John F. Wacker
(February 27, 1924 - November 30, 2013)

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Dr. John F. Wacker

John Frank Wacker, M.D., 89, of Mendota passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Nov. 30, 2013, in Mendota Lutheran Home. A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, December 13th, in First Presbyterian Church, Mendota with the Rev. Dale Dykstra officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to services in the church. Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota provided the arrangements. He was born Feb. 27, 1924, in La Salle to Carl Frank and Helen (Stoldorf) Wacker. He enjoyed boyhood days roaming the fields and farms around La Salle and spending summers on the farm with his uncle. John was a dedicated Boy Scout, receiving the Order of the Arrow and achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. He loved hiking, camping and “roughing it” in the outdoors. John attended L-P-O Junior College for two years where he played French horn in the ensemble and then transferred to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he received his bachelor’s degree. He completed his medical training at the University of Illinois, Chicago campus, receiving his M.D. in 1948. He moved to St. Louis for a three-year residency in general medicine and surgery. It was in St. Louis that he met his wife, Joanne Woelfel and married her in Peru in 1950. In 1951 John and Joanne moved to Mendota where he began his medical practice as a partner with Dr. Edgar Cook. He arrived in time for the opening of the new Mendota Community Hospital where he had a 37-year career, first as a general practitioner and later as a board certified family medicine physician. He opened his own office in 1960 where he partnered with his brother, Dr. Carl James Wacker and later with Dr. Jack Su. During these years, Dr. Wacker made countless house calls in Mendota and the surrounding towns and countryside, often accepting in-kind payment of chickens, fish or vegetables. Her performed surgery and delivered hundreds of babies. He served as the on-call physician for three railroads, several factories and the Mendota High School football team. He was an avid sports fan and enjoyed following Mendota High School and his beloved Cubs. Dr. Wacker was a member of First Presbyterian Church for 62 years and served on the session as an elder. He was a member of the Elks. After retirement, he delivered Meals on Wheels, traveled to Florida and Texas for many winters and enjoyed time at the family cabin at Lake Ripley, Wis., swimming, canoeing and captaining the family pontoon boat with great finesse. His is survived by his wife, Joanne; four children, Martha (Craig Kugisaki) Wacker, Carl (Paula Pachiarz) Wacker, Mary (Mark) Wacker Widmer and Sarah (Tom) Wacker Nordberg; 11 grandchildren; his sister-in-law, Sandra Wacker; seven nieces and nephews; and his beloved dog, Sparky. John was preceded in death by his parents and three siblings, Mary Wacker DeLancey, Helen Wacker Chamberlain and Carl James Wacker; and a nephew, Benjamin Wacker. John Wacker will be remembered with great love by all who knew him for his dedication and professionalism in his medical practice, his gentle sense of humor, his love for his family and the sage advice he shared with all who knew him. Memorials may be directed to the First Presbyterian Church, Mendota or Mendota Community Hospital.

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