John “Jack” Arthur Hough passed away peacefully at the Bethel Home in Viroqua, Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in the company of his son and friends and neighbors.
Jack was born Dec. 29, 1924, to Kenneth and Frances (Bleecker) Hough in La Crosse. An avid gardener from an early age, he always knew he wanted to be a farmer. At the age of 15, he drove his family from La Crosse to Louisiana to Massachusetts, as they followed the various postings of his military officer father, during the beginning of World War II. When they were returning to Wisconsin, Jack tearfully (and successfully) pleaded with a Canadian customs official to allow his beloved houseplants to pass through the country in the trunk of the car on the way home.
After graduating from La Crosse Central High School in January 1943, he enlisted in the U. S. Army and fought in the trenches of France, until he was wounded. After lengthy hospitalizations, he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated with a degree in animal husbandry.
Jack and his family, along with hundreds of Jack’s peonies and his Jersey cow, Geraldine, moved to their farm between La Farge and Viola, Sept. 1, 1947, a milestone in the family’s lifelong love of the land and people of the Kickapoo Valley, which had begun in 1917, when Jack’s father arrived in Viola, on the Kickapoo Stump Dodger, to work on Clyde and Alice Savacool’s farm on Goose Creek.
Jack met Darlene Machovec at the dance hall in Ontario. They were married June 15, 1957, and their son, David, was born on their first wedding anniversary in 1958.
Jack and Darlene spent their lives working together to nurse a neglected farm back to life, hosting nieces, nephews, and many other teenagers, who worked long hours in the hay-field, while Jack treated them to lengthy discourses on history, art, books, and the proper way to mow a lawn. After selling their cattle, Jack and Darlene enjoyed many trips to England, California, and the Czech Republic, to visit friends and relatives.
Jack was preceded in death by his wife, Darlene; his parents; his wife’s parents, Fred and Helen Machovec; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Clyde and Carol Hough and Danny and Alice Hough; and a great-nephew, Jacob Ward.
He is survived by his son, David, of La Farge; a sister, Helen Burton of Viroqua; a sister-in-law, Carol (Steve) Subera of Colby, Wis.; and many close nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren.
There will be a visitation starting at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 13, at the Vosseteig Funeral Home in La Farge, followed by a celebration of life at 11 a.m. and a lunch at the La Farge Community Center.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family suggests donations to the La Farge Ambulance Squad or the La Farge Fire Department.
Jack’s family would like to thank the staffs at the La Farge Medical Clinic, the Bethel Home, and Bland-Bekkedal Hospice, as well as their wonderful friends and neighbors in Tunnelville, for their support and loving care.
Online condolences may be offered at www.vossfh.com. The Vosseteig Funeral Home of La Farge is serving the family.