May 17, 2023 at 3:43 p.m.

Potterton, John "Jack"

Potterton, John "Jack"
Potterton, John "Jack"

On 16 May 2023, John "Jack" Potterton (87) rejoined his wife Terry Potterton in eternal life. Born in Dodgeville on 4 May 1936 to Zola Hillman and Burton Potterton, he spent many of his boyhood summers in Dodgeville helping on family farms. He joined the Army in, 1954 serving during the Cold War in Germany with the 4th Infantry Div, 66th Armored Battalion. He returned to the US in 1956 and met the love of his life, Teresa (nee Solarz), on Halloween, and they married 24 May 1957. They worked together, devoted, to build a home for their children Suzanne Potterton and Bill Potterton (Colonel, US Army Ret).

Jack worked construction (Operating Engineers Union Local 139--50 year member) throughout the state of Wisconsin, building bridges and roadways during the summer and working for Advance Boiler in the winter. Notably, he was on the crew that installed the auxiliary boilers on the Edmund Fitzgerald prior her last voyage. He had a habit of finding a spot on whatever he was working on, and would write his names, and those of his wife and children on the structures he worked on. His name is on the Hoan Bridge in Milwaukee, the US Bank Center (where he ran the tower crane from the top deck, 42 stories up) and the Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. He worked hard throughout his life, retiring from SpanCrete in 1990. He and Terry moved out to Dodgeville to retire, but they unfortunately knew that Terry had terminal cancer. They made the most of their time together, travelling the US creating memories. When she became too ill to travel, Jack nursed her faithfully at home, with loving devotion until her passing two years later. He remained devoted to her memory.

Civil Air Patrol (US Air Force Auxiliary) was a major part of his life. He became involved when his children joined, and continued on with the help of his family to found the Mitchell Composite Squadron 9, in his old neighborhood on Milwaukee's south side. He believed that young people should have opportunities to better themselves, as he had. He held command of the 153rd Madison Composite Squadron for nearly a decade. He became a mentor, a friend and role model for generations of Civil Air Patrol Cadets. He would host practice search and rescue missions from his backyard on Highway 23, and he was never happier than when they came back muddy from tramping through the countryside of Iowa County. He retired from Civil Air Patrol as a Lt. Colonel after a nearly 40 year span of volunteer service. He will be remembered best as a teacher, a leader and a patriot.

He was preceded in death by his mother Zola Hillman, and his father, Burton Potterton, step-father Edward Hillman; his cherished older sister Joyce (nee Potterton) Puzia and his wife Teresa.

He is survived by his half-sisters, Donna (nee Hillman) Hyke and Julie (nee Potterton) Oskendahl; daughter Suzanne Potterton and son William Potterton; and his grand-children Ashlyn, Alexander and Tegan.

Visitation will be held Friday, May 19 from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Lulloff-Peterson-Houck Funeral Home, Dodgeville. An additional visitation will be held at the funeral home on Saturday, May 20 from 10:00 AM until a formal time of sharing memories begins at 11:00 AM. Burial with military honors at East Side Cemetery to follow. The Lulloff-Peterson-Houck Funeral Home is serving the family. Online condolences can be made at Please bring a memory to share and pictures of Jack to post on the memory board.

In lieu of flowers, Jack's family requests donations to Civil Air Patrol, Wisconsin Wing. Information on how to donate is available on at the bottom of Jack's obituary.