Jean Folke Wiren (John), 94

Published 9:45 am Friday, November 7, 2014

Jean Folke Wiren (John) was born on Jan. 31, 1920, in Helsinki, Finland. John passed away on Nov. 4, 2014, at the Sacred Heart Care Center in Austin, Minnesota, at the age of 94.



John immigrated at a very early age to Rifton, New York, from Helsinki with his family— father John Paul, mother Kerttu and sister Doris, where he lived through high school. John graduated from Kingston High School in 1938, where he was a football and track star. Upon graduation from high school, John attended the University of Texas where he was captain of the track team and president of the Pledge Club of the Sigma Epsilon Fraternity. He was studying to be an electrical engineer. John’s first university experience was cut short when he was drafted in 1943 to the United States Army as a flight navigator. John was stationed in Pocatello, Idaho, and proudly served his country, receiving the rank of captain in World War II. John finished his electrical engineering degree at Cal Tech after being honorably discharged from the Army at the end of the war. John joined Honeywell in 1947 where he worked and climbed the corporate ranks for more than 30 years. John seemed to excel at everything that he did.

John met the love of his life, Jean Elizabeth Knowlton in 1949. It was love at first sight with Jean, a widower and her three children— William Karl, Candace Jean and Susan Jane. John and Jean added to their family with the addition of a daughter, Martha Ann in 1952. John and Jean were happily married for 50 years until her death in 2000. John loved his family and was as wonderful a grandfather (and great-grandfather) as he was a father. He had eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He was known as Boppa to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Email newsletter signup

Regardless if you called him dad, Boppa, or son, he was a very special man. He had the most open and wonderful heart. He called it like he saw it, and was right more often than not. He filled every room with happiness, positivity and jokes. If you were having a bad day, you just called John and his exuberance would undoubtedly rub off on you. John, dad, Boppa will be sadly missed by his family, old and new, and his many, many friends.

John is survived by son William Karl Avery; daughters: Candace Jean Jones, Martha Ann Behrle, and Susan Jane Sween of Austin.

Private family services will be held at a later date with interment at Oakwood Cemetery in Floyd, Iowa.