John Edman Spangberg

 John Edman Spangberg, age 71, of Marengo, WI passed away unexpectedly on March 9, 2021 while collecting maple sap at his cabin in Drummond. He was born October 25, 1949, the son of James and Marjorie (Gerjets) Spangberg. He grew up in Siren, Hayward, and Ladysmith Wisconsin. From a young age, John loved hunting, fishing, and being in the woods.  

John graduated from UW-Eau Claire. He went on to spend his professional career protecting the environment. John worked for state, county, and tribal government. He worked for the Oneida Tribe for ten years during the 1980s when tribal natural resource departments were being organized. Then he joined the WI Department of Natural Resources, serving in Spooner, Cumberland, and Ashland until his retirement in 2012. He was dedicated to protecting habitat and clean water for the benefit of all people.

John was immensely proud of his son Codey James May, U.S. Air Force, currently serving in Korea, who is carrying on the family tradition of military service.

In 1996, John married the love of his life, Nancy Jean Larson, in Spooner. They shared their outdoor interests and outlook on life. While in Spooner, they were involved in the Kinship program and developed deep relationships with their Kinship kids that continue to this day. In 2003, John and Nancy moved to their farm in Marengo.

John and good friends Dennis and June Johnson, built the cozy Spangberg cabin on the family land in Drummond with their own hands, using lumber from the woods. There, John enjoyed deer season, maple syrup season, and many gatherings with family and friends around the campfire. John was very funny and entertaining with his endless puns, plays on words, and booming voice. John also helped Nancy with her horses, calling himself the “unstable boy.” John was dedicated to Nancy and the rest of the family, helping take care of his mother at her home in Ladysmith until she moved permanently to Texas in 2019. John was also an avid golfer and loved sports. John’s goal was to hunt, gather, and grow as much of the family’s food as possible. John read widely, especially about history, and he loved his dogs. 

John served on the Marengo Town Board after the flood of 2016, working with FEMA and other agencies on the response.

John is survived by his loving wife Nancy Larson of Marengo; son Codey May, USAF Korea; mother Marjorie Spangberg of Dallas TX; sister Donna (Edward) Mullenix of Dallas TX; brother James (Anne Marie Crawley) Spangberg of Bradenton FL; nieces and nephews: Daryl Anderson, Matt Anderson, Amanda MacNeven, Megan DeRaleau, Ben Pearce, Zachary Pearce; and his special dog TwerpE. 

John was preceded in death by his father James Spangberg, and his sister and brother-in-law Joyce and Dale Zimmer.

A celebration of life will be held this summer in Drummond. Memorials may be made to a land trust or environmental organization of your choice.

The Roberts Funeral Home in Ashland is assisting the family with arrangements.

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