John H. “Jack” Hackman Sr., age 85, passed away surrounded by family on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. He had a long career in radio broadcasting and served as a community leader in Marshfield for many years.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30 am on Saturday, July 14, 2018 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Marshfield, where the family will receive relatives and friends from 10:00 am until service time on Saturday. Rev. Keith Kitzhaber will officiate. Burial will take place in St. Joachim’s Cemetery, Pittsville, at a later date. Rembs Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Jack was born in Pittsville on April 1, 1933, to Anna (O’Betka) and Bernard Hackman. He graduated from Maryheart High School in Pittsville and attended the University of Wisconsin, Marathon County, before taking a position in the engineering department at Radio Station WLDB in Marshfield in May of 1953.
He married JoAnne R. Wirtz in August of that year at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Altdorf, Wisconsin. They moved to Marshfield and raised seven children. They resided in Marshfield until 1990 when they built a home on the Eau Pleine Flowage, where they lived until 2016, when they moved back to Marshfield.
Hackman began his broadcast career as an engineer and advanced to program director and sports director in the early 1960’s. He was the voice of Marshfield Senior High School Tigers and Columbus High School Dons for many years. He became station manager at WDLB in 1965 and general manager in 1970. In 1981 he was named Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Goetz Broadcasting Corporation and was responsible for the operation of all 15 Goetz stations in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan until his retirement in 1999.
He was elected to three terms as alderman of the 10th ward for the City of Marshfield. Hackman also made many contributions to the community during his long public service career. He served as president of the Columbus High School Board of Education from 1968 to 1978; president of the United Way Drive in 1976 and 1980; and president of the Marshfield Public Library Board from 1980 to 1986. He was president of the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce for three terms in 1976, 1989 and 1990. As a member of the Knights of Columbus, Jack served as Grand Knight of the John Eisen Council in 1967 and 1968. In addition he served on numerous other committees for many organizations, including Vice President of the University of Wisconsin, Wood County commission, as well as Vice President of the Marshfield Athletic Club.
Jack Hackman was also involved with the broadcast industry, serving two terms on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association from 1977 to 1980 and again from 1985 to 1990. He served as President of the WBA in 1989 and 1990, during which time he directed the establishment of the Wisconsin Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame and the WBA Foundation.
He was honored to have received numerous special awards and recognitions during his career, including the Marshfield Outstanding Young Man/Jaycee’s Distinguished Service Award in 1965; Boss of the Year Award from Professional Secretaries International in 1978; and Rotary’s “Service Above Self” Paul Harris Award in 1995. The Knights of Columbus prestigious Medallion Award was presented to him in 1995 in Milwaukee, and he was elected to the WBA Hall of Fame in 1995.
Some significant accomplishments during his life were the construction of the Knights of Columbus Hall in Marshfield during his term as Grand Knight and the large addition to the Marshfield Public Library constructed while he was president of the Library Board. Jack was Chairman of the 5.1 million dollar drive for the Lawton National Research Center and the Advanced Division building fund drive for the Marshfield YMCA. He was the master of ceremonies at numerous banquets and events, and delivered the commencement address for Columbus High School in 1989.
Jack enjoyed family time at their cottage on the Eau Pleine Flowage … fishing and driving the boat for all family and friends who were water skiers. He loved playing all types of card games and was an avid sports fan, following the Packers, Badgers, and in particular the Chicago Cubs in baseball and Marquette University in basketball. He was a consistent supporter of sports of all kinds, especially for the high schools and youth. This all culminated with his effort to raise funds for the construction of the baseball complex and the dedication of the Jack Hackman Baseball Field, which took place in 2002. Hackman deeply cherished his wife JoAnne, his valuable companion for 65 years, along with his four sons and three daughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. He is survived by his wife, JoAnne, and children John (Laura) Hackman of Mosinee; Jerry (Sherry) Hackman of Iron River, Wisconsin; Dr. Anna Hackman-Morris (David) of Minneapolis; Mary Zukowski of Winona, Mark (Julie) Hackman of Racine and Amy Johnson of Milton, Wisconsin. He is preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Anna, his son, Michael, and a step-grandson, Kyle Kontny. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mike’s Run or Columbus High School scholarship fund.
Condolences may be sent online to www.rembsfh.com