John R. Bleashka

John Robert Bleashka (Johnny B./JB) was born on June 30, 1950 to Nicholas and Phyllis (Rigdon) Bleashka in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  He was a lifelong resident of Kenosha except for a year or so of living and working in Las Vegas.  He came home from Vegas to attend his sister’s wedding and never went back.  He attended McKinley Elem. and Junior High and then graduated from Mary D. Bradford High School in 1968. After High School he attended and finished all classwork at Gateway Tech. for HVAC and Auto Body Repair.  He also went to Parkside Univ. for one year.

In H.S. he played football (co-captain/MVP) and was on the swim and track teams.  After High School he played Rugby with a local team for a couple of years.  In his later years he LIVED for football season and was an avid Green Bay Packer fan.  Every week he looked forward to receiving his “bible” the Sports Illustrated that he would read from cover to cover. Once he stopped playing in sporting events, he then officiated by refereeing H.S. football and City League basketball along with umpiring summer league baseball.

Starting in the late 80’s he gave up driving a car and friends would see him riding his bike all over town–he loved volunteering at Food, Folks & Spokes and would go to the bike races at Washington Bowl. He enjoyed working on fixing up discarded bikes or ones that belonged to friends. Over the years he worked at many jobs but always preferred to be working outside if possible.

He loved to cook, watch football, tend to his garden, feed the birds and squirrels, listen to loud music, and watch old time movies, especially black and white ones. John also had fond memories of attending the Woodstock concerts with his friends. He loved all kinds of animals and had many pets in his lifetime. He leaves behind his most recent cats, Tweetie and Sylvester.  He was also interested in politics and worked on his brother-in-law John Bilotti’s elections for Mayor during the 80’s which was much appreciated. He was known to send a letter to the Voice of the People on a number of issues.

He called many people friends and he was always very giving of his time and things if someone else needed help.  He was a loner at times but when out and about he would talk to just about anyone; and many times, offering to help if he saw some who may need help, especially an “older” person/senior citizen.  He had a good and kind heart and was very forgiving of others.

He is survived by his daughter Nicole (Greg) Walters of Ypsilanti, MI and his sister Judy (John) Bilotti of Kenosha, and a number of cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Nickolas and Phyllis Bleashka, all of his Aunts and Uncles, and numerous cousins. Also preceding him was his best friend of 20 years, his black cat Eightball.

Because of the pandemic a private family service will be held. In remembrance, have a beer or two and make a toast to John this week, or around his birthday on 6/30/2020.

If you would like to make a donation in his name please consider Safe Harbor, Kindred Kitties, Salvation Army, or the Shalom Center.  Condolences can be sent to Judy Bilotti care of Casey Family Options @ 3016-75th Street, Kenosha, WI. 53142.

The family would like to send a shout out/big Thank You to the 30th Ave. EMT crew who came for John and the downtown Kenosha Hospital staff who cared for John and were with him when he passed. 


  1. Sorry for your lost – We missed seeing John at the class of 68 – 50th reunion. Will always remember him as a happy guy.

    • Thanks Margie, he had planned to attend and he simply forgot—he had a wild shirt all ready to wear for that evening. Thanks for posting the pictures on the class web site, I had forgotten all about the red “suit” and the hat which is probably still somewhere in his house.

  2. Claudia Volpentesta May 21, 2020 at 10:28 am

    So sorry for your loss.
    I remember John from when both my sisters and I went to
    McKinley. A very nice guy

  3. My sympathy on your loss. John was fun guy to be around and we enjoyed playing against McKinley Elementary. I could always count on John to get a yard when we needed it. I remember how hard he ran in football, and how he approached life in the same manner. Interesting how he got back to bikes, we used to hang out in his garage and work on our bikes and go to the races to watch.


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