Cover photo for John Arther Pregenzer's Obituary
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John Arther Pregenzer

August 2, 1932 — January 31, 2024

John Arther Pregenzer

John Arthur Pregenzer, was born August 2, 1932, in Burlington, WI. He grew up on Grass Lake near Antioch, IL, where his parents, Louis and Dorothy Simms, ran a popular resort. His childhood included working at the resort and hunting and fishing with his favorite hunting dog, Queenie. He was educated in a one-room elementary school, and Antioch Community High School. He attended Illinois Wesleyan University. He was drafted into the US Army for a two-year stint in occupied post-WW2 Germany.  After college John played professional baseball for two seasons for the San Francisco Giants, and for eight years with the minors as a relief pitcher. John’s notoriety came mostly from a fan club organized in 1963 by a columnist with the San Francisco Chronicle which at its peak boasted 3000 members.

In 1961, John married Rhoda Whitlock. They settled in Tacoma, WA, with their three children, Denise, Eric and Jaci. There he embarked on his real passion which was teaching and coaching. He worked as a middle and high school history teacher in Tacoma area school districts for the next thirty years.  He coached basketball, baseball and football and was devoted to his students and athletes. He coached many successful seasons and impacted the lives of many young people. In the intervening years, John also traveled to Florida twice a year to fish and hunt.

In 1999, John met Victoria and in 2003, they married. In 2023, they celebrated their silver wedding anniversary.  They traveled while Vicki was working as a nurse, and then when Vicki retired, they shared their time between Wibaux, Montana, and Palm Desert, California. John loved Montana and sitting on the deck with his binoculars and working in his garden. In the winter, he enjoyed golfing at the club. In the last year of his life, they moved to Paris, MO, onto Vicki’s son’s farm where he got to fish a little and enjoy the rural lifestyle that he so loved. It was on this quiet farm that he passed peacefully to join his son, Eric, in heaven. 

John is survived by his devoted wife, Victoria, his daughters Denise Head (Dean Head) and Jacklyn White (Marek Beck), his daughter-in-law Lesley Pregenzer (Bob Morris) and six grandchildren: Annika and Lena Pregenzer; Chiara and Everest Head; and Jack and Sophia White (father Ted White). He is also survived by his stepson, Jason Tullius and wife, Lyndsay, and his step-grandchildren, Alexandria and Christian.  He is predeceased by his parents, his sister Carol Hill and his beloved son Eric.

Local arrangements are under the direction of PATHWAY-MILLARD Funeral Directors, 411 Union Avenue, Moberly, Missouri 65270 (660) 263-7284. Condolences may be left online for the family at www.pathwaymemorial.com.

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