John W.R. “Willie” Sakel – WHS Coach – 1955-1959
John W.R. “Willie” Sakel, 86, of Evansville passed away at 6:40 pm, Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at St. Vincent Hospital in Evansville.
John was born in Huntingburg, Indiana the first son of the late Frank and Elsie (Beardsley) Sakel. He was a 1948 graduate of Huntingburg High School, and a 1952 graduate of Evansville College where he played basketball. He received his Masters Degree in Education from Indiana University. John honorably served his country in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict and was a member of American Legion Kapperman Post #44. He began his education career as a coach and teacher at Wadesville in 1952. After his military service he was a social studies teacher and varsity baseball and basketball coach at Winslow High School between 1955-59. He was a former principal at Mackey High School, Cannelton High School, Castle Elementary and Castle High School. In 1992, after a total of 36 years in education, he retired as a teacher from the Warrick County School Corporation. John was a member of Newburgh Masonic Lodge #174, Scottish Rite and Hadi Shrine. He was an accomplished trombonist and played in the Hadi Brass Band, Temple Airs, Old Dam Community Band in Newburgh and the jazz group, Déjà Vu. He was a Methodist his entire life and worshipped most recently at Methodist Temple in Evansville and Chandler United Methodist church. He enjoyed directing or singing in church choirs and was a member of the Chandler United Methodist Mens Choral Group the Hims of Praise. He enjoyed the St. Louis Cardinals, UE and IU basketball and the Colts. He was an enthusiastic and formidable card player enjoying Rook, Bridge and Shanghai and loved history- especially the Civil War. Other hobbies included barbershop music which he especially enjoyed hearing and seeing live. He enjoyed searching for jazz band and barbershop harmony performances on YouTube and completed daily crossword puzzles from the newspaper in ink! He was generous with his love, time and talents, and had an unquenchable curiosity. He never went anywhere without finding a connection to a stranger thru who their parents were, where they were from, their occupation, where they attended school, what sports they enjoyed, what music they liked, where they had traveled, did they know the same people etc.
He will be deeply missed by his family, friends and the numerous lives he touched throughout his life.
He is survived by long time friend Gene Essick of Chandler IN; daughters Vicki Sprengel and Ann Morrow (John); son, John Scott Sakel and partner Donald Bauer, all from Newburgh IN; siblings, Velma Berry of Evansville IN and Don Sakel of Floyds Knob, IN; grandchildren Kelly Sprengel Little (Josh ‘Red’) of Spring Hill TN, Ryan Sprengel (Royce Poe) of Elmhurst IL, Kate Sprengel Case (Christopher) stationed in Japan, Lynea Sprengel Bellew (Jason) of Evansville IN, Paige Morrow Larsen (Joshua) of Indianapolis IN, Leland Morrow (Katherine ‘Kat’) of Henderson KY; and great-grandchildren Syndol Little, Owen Sprengel; Paul, Benjamin, and Jonathan Little; Rockwell Sprengel; Emma and Ethan Case; Hannah, Jude and Gabriel Larsen; Lyric and Liam Morrow.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Jeanne Leland Sakel in 1999; second wife, Joella Hohl Sakel in 2010 and sister, Marian Clem in 2012.
Funeral Services will be held at 11 am, Monday, June 12, 2017 at Boone Funeral Home East Chapel-A Family Tradition Funeral Home, 5330 Washington Avenue, Evansville with Pastor Andy Payton officiating and the American Legion Kapperman Post #44 will render full military rites.
Private Burial will be in Fairmont Cemetery, Huntingburg, IN
Friends may visit from 2 pm until 6 pm, Sunday, June 11, 2017 at Boone Funeral Home East Chapel-A Family Tradition Funeral Home where the Newburgh Masonic Lodge #174 will hold a Memorial Service at 6 pm.
Memorial Contributions may be made to Trisomy 18 Foundation, 4491 Cheshire Station Plaza, STE 157, Dale City, VA 22193 or The John W.R. Sakel Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Castle High School, 3344 HWY 261, Newburgh, IN 47630.
Condolences may be made to the family online at boonefuneralhome.net