John was born in the Mader home on 13th St. on June 10, 1908 to Joseph and Angeline Mader, five months after his grandmother Rose died.
After high school, John joined the Air Force and was stationed in Alabama. In the service he worked with radio equipment pursuing an interest he had as a boy. His girlfriend Gretchen Schmidt, a school teacher from La Crosse, came down to Alabama in 1942 and John and Gretchen were married there.
On his return to La Crosse, John worked for John Papenfuss, an electrical contractor. Eventually John started his own company called “Mader Electric Company”, located on Avon Street. John became on of Wisconsin’s most successful electrical contractors. His biggest project was the rewiring of the State Capital during remodeling in Madison, Wisconsin, a job that took several years to complete. Among his other big accounts John did the electrical work on Viterbo College in La Crosse.
John was good to his mother Angeline and when his father died he supported her financially for many years. After Angeline had a stroke and needed to be hospitalized, John paid her hospital bill of almost a year. John and Gretchen were especially close to his sister Helen and her family.
John and Gretchen did not have children. Gretchen taught Jefferson Grade School in La Crosse until her retirement. She died of cancer in 1980. John remained in their home at 6878 Cloverdale Rd. Onalaska until he sold it this year when he became ill with Parkinson’s Disease and needed care.
A pilot, John greatest pastime was flying. Through the years he owned three airplanes which took him on trips all over the country.