John Howard Birkholz

John Howard Birkholz

MIDDLETON – John Howard Birkholz, age 70, of Middleton, passed away suddenly from cardiac complications on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020.

John was born in Beaver Dam, Wis. on Nov. 18, 1949. The son of Elmer and Anita Maria Birkholz, he was the youngest of five, with four siblings who loved him and helped raise him, as they were all teenagers when he was born.

John was married to Carol Woock in 1977, and they moved to Madison, where they had two daughters, Shanna and Jaime. He later married Niki Riggert of Middleton and they were set to celebrate 30 years of marriage in early 2021.

He was a loving husband, father and grandfather, and will be remembered for fishing trips, Friday night board games, muddy off-roading excitement, games of tag and travels to places remote. A sales person professionally, John loved to talk with anyone he met. Favorite conversations were about his Savior Jesus, politics, and cars (mostly Jeeps). He loved a good game and spent many days during his retirement years playing cards and scrabble. John was kind and loving and will always be remembered for his big smile and positive attitude, even through the hard days.

He was a member of Peace Thru Christ Lutheran Church and knew that Jesus died to give him and all believers eternal life. His family looks forward to seeing him again, free from pain.

John is survived by his wife, Niki Birkholz; daughters, Shanna Pelkey (Robert) and Jaime Sathasivam (Logan); his three grandchildren, Annika Pelkey, Hadley and Everett Sathasivam; brother, Gordon Birkholz; and many nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends who loved him.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Anita Maria (Zweig) Birkholz; his sisters, Joyce (Jim) Buckley and Audrey (Felix) Janny; brother, William Birkholz; in-laws, Duane and Delilah Riggert and their son, Monte; and many other beloved family members and friends.

A memorial honoring John’s life and his new heavenly life will be held at a later date.

Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson West
Funeral & Cremation Care
7435 University Ave.
(608) 831-6761