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Obituary for John A. Barris


John A. Barris, age 72, passed away at home surrounded by his family on August 2, 2019. He was born in La Crosse, Wis. to June (Goetz) and Allen Barris on May 11, 1947. John graduated from Aquinas High School, class of 1965. John later enrolled at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse majoring in chemistry with a minor in math. After his junior year, he was drafted into the US Army where he served in Vietnam as a scout dog handler. John later performed guard duty before he finished his tour of duty in 1970. John married Barbara Roraff (Aquinas class of 1965) on June 3, 1972. They were blessed with two daughters; Christine and Michelle. John worked at G. Heilman Brewing Co. for several years before continuing his education at Western Technical College. There John earned an Associate's Degree in Mechanical Design along with vocational diplomas in Mechanical Design Drafting and Wood Techniques. John also worked at Trane Co. for several years as an experimental product designer. His last job before retirement was at Fort McCoy as a Senior CAD Designer/Draftsman III. John belonged to Sigma Tau Gamma, Big Brothers, Western Technical College Alumni, American Legion Post 0052, the DAV and volunteered over 1,000 hours at Mayo Healthcare. Through the years, John enjoyed playing pool and pinochle (which he often referenced as his secondary majors in college), bowling, golf, fishing, collecting wood planes, making furniture and traveling. In his later years, he enjoyed going to estate sales. John is survived by his wife, Barbara and daughters Christine (Scott Mell) and Michelle (Matthew Brown). He is also survived by his grandsons; Alex Olson (Bailey Allen) and Simon Mell. John is also survived by a brother, Robert (Rita) Barris and several nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents, Gladys and Carl Goetz. Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 am Friday, August 9, 2019 at St. Patrick's Catholic Parish, 1031 Main Street, Onalaska. Monsignor Steve Kachel will be the celebrant. Burial will be in the Catholic Cemetery, La Crosse. Visitation will be 9:30 until the Mass time at the church. "Thank you John, for being by my side and loving me unconditionally." - Barb