John "Jack" A. Mair silently passed away, leaving us all saddened for our loss.
Jack was one of the quiet men who did their jobs, raised their families and defended our rights and freedoms.
He served his country during both World War II and the Korean conflict. He was one of the "Greatest Generations".
Jack was also the "Catalyst". He was the catalyst that started the search for information and recognition, so greatly deserved by the men of the U.S.S. Mississinewa, AO-59. Our special sympathy goes out to Mike, Scott, Julie and JoAnn.
John A. Mair
Born in Clinton, WI on Dec. 3, 1924
Died Aug. 18, 2005 and resided in Packwaukee, WI.
JANESVILLE---John “Jack” A. Mair, 80, of Packwaukee, WI, formerly of Janesville, died on Thurs., August 18, 2005, at Heartland Health Care Center in Platteville. He was born on December 3, 1924, in Clinton, WI, the son of John and Ella (Murray) Mair. On September 16, 1950, he married Patricia Earle at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Janesville. He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, aboard the fleet tanker U.S.S. Mississinewa (AO-59) and survived her sinking at Ulithi Atoll on November 20, 1944, after an attack by a Japanese suicide manned torpedo named “kaiten.” The U.S.S. Mississinewa story was featured on the History Channel’s “Deep Sea Detectives” in April of 2004. National Geographic International also aired the ship’s dramatic story in 185 countries in August of 2004. He served again with the 7th Fleet in the Mediterranean aboard the tender U.S.S. Shenandoah (AD-26) during the Korean conflict. He began his life’s work as a machinist in the U.S. Navy and worked as a toolmaker for the Parker Pen Company in Janesville from 1957 until his retirement in 1989. He retired to his home which he named “Shalom” on Buffalo Lake in Packwaukee. Jack’s interest in his later years centered around two reunions of his U.S.S. Mississinewa shipmates and their families organized by his son Mike. Mike also wrote a book about his ship and her historic place in U.S. Naval history, which will be published in 2006. Jack loved to travel with his very special friend JoAnn, his cherished companion of 33 years, and the couple toured much of the U.S. together. Their last memorable trip was attending the dedication of the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. in May of 2004. His interests included golfing, bowling, NFL football and watching “his boy” Jeff Gordon #24 race for NASCAR.
He is survived by 3 children: Mike (Nancy) Mair of Platteville, Julie (Mike) Effinger of Scottsdale, AZ and Scott (Debbie) Mair of Frisco, TX; 6 grandchildren: Brian “BJ” Mair of Janesville, Tracy Mair of Platteville, John and Dan Effinger of Scottsdale, AZ and Ian and Melissa Mair of Frisco, TX; 3 brothers: Robert (Ruth) Mair, Ron (Char) Mair and Tom (Rose) Mair all of Janesville; his very special friend, JoAnn Lichte of Lodi, WI; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Margaret (Louis) Alf of Beloit.
In lieu of plants and flowers, a memorial fund has been established to publish his WWII story; “Oil, Fire and Fate,” the U.S.S. Mississinewa (AO-59) in WWII. Memorials may be sent to: John Mair Memorial, 1525 Deborah Ct., Platteville, WI 53818. Jack Mair’s legacy of serving his country as a member of the “Greatest Generation” will be memorialized in print.