John Musch taught elementary school, managed the clubhouse at Macktown


John Ray Musch of Rockton, Illinois, was honored during his nearly 35 years teaching career with the Golden Apple Award and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Beginning in 2003, John worked at Macktown Golf Course as a clubhouse manager and starter.

John passed away peacefully in his home on August 23, 2022, with his beloved wife, Sandy, and stepchildren Michelle and Nick Grimm by his side. The funeral service will be held at 12:00 noon on Saturday, September 3, 2022 at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, 7404 Elevator Road in Roscoe, with visitation from 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. prior to the service. A luncheon will follow at the church. Per John’s wishes, cremation has been accorded.

John was born on December 25, 1944, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, son of John Musch, Jr. (Doc) and Irene (Smits) Musch who preceded him in death. He grew up in Grand Rapids, MI, and attended Sylvan Christian School (grades K-9) and graduated from Grand Rapids High School in 1962. Following graduation, John attended Western Michigan University, graduating in 1966.

In 1967 John began his teaching career with 6th grade students at Gregory School in Mt. Prospect, IL.  In 1971 he began teaching at Stiles Elementary in Rockford, IL. In 1974, John made his final career move to Cherry Valley Elementary. John remained there for 27 years, where he taught 5th and 6th grades until his retirement in 2001. In 1976, John received his masters degree +40 hours from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. John loved teaching his students and seeing them grow and experience new educational opportunities.

Later, at Macktown Golf Course, John enjoyed all the people he worked with and the golfers he met during this time. John retired from the golf course in 2017 and he and Sandy were blessed to spend winters in their condo in Punta Gorda, FL, where they made many new friends - in particular, Bob, Paula and “grand puppy” Winston, as well as Vic and Helen. They spent many enjoyable days together and made fond memories. In addition, says Sandy, "we spent many fun times together playing different card games" with Illinois friends Jim and Sandy, who had their condo in Venice.

John enjoyed golfing with his “Golfing Buddies” (Bob, Fred, Wayne and David) for many years. In addition, he enjoyed his “Men’s Poker Club” (Mike, Tom, etc.) and his “Bowling League”. He also was a member of the Elks, Eagles, Moose, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. “Grass Mowing” at his church with his good buddy Chuck produced much laughter as they dressed up with a different theme each time they mowed. If someone needed help (whether he knew them or not), John was always at the ready.

John’s greatest joy and gift in life were his step-grandchildren Brent (Kelsey) Grimm, Kyle Grimm, Andrew Bland and Alex Bland. The many sleepovers at Grandpa and Grandma’s produced many baseball games, movies, miniature golf, setting up cardboard boxes to play trucks, cars, and gas stations, etc. and so much more. Each time, John wore them out with all the activities he planned. Shortly after John and Sandy were married, his oldest grandson, Brent, who was 8 at the time, stated, “Now I have three grandpas.” John spoiled the boys with many treats, especially Kyle and his Mentos. John was always telling Kyle to “pace himself” as he continued to supply him with more and more of them. John enjoyed going to Andrew and Alex’s baseball games in their younger years. "Oh, how he loved all of his wonderful grandchildren!" recalls Sandy.

John is survived by his beloved wife, Sandy; step-children Michelle and Nick Grimm and Brad and Courtney Bland; and step-grandchildren Brent (Kelsey) Grimm, Kyle Grimm, Andrew Bland and Alex Bland. He is also survived by his daughter, Joy, and son, John II.

“John was an honorable man,” special friends Ronnie and Jim have lovingly shared.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to OSF Center for Cancer Care, to Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, and to Kathy’s House in Milwaukee, WI, where Sandy was able to stay for 3 ½ weeks while John was in the Froedtert Clinical Cancer Center right across the street.

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