John Tessner

John Tessner died in DeForest, WI on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. John was currently a resident of Saint Paul, Minnesota. John was born on March 14, 1945 at St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. His parents were Alfred Tessner and Ruth Lemke.

John attended Fond du Lac Public Schools specifically Cleveland School from kindergarten through sixth grade, and Roosevelt Junior High School for seventh grade. When Saint Louis church opened its school in 1957, he was in the first graduating class in 1958. He then went on to Saint Mary’s Springs Academy graduating in 1963.

John graduated from Wisconsin State University-Oshkosh in 1967 with a major in English and minor in secondary education and library science. In 1967 John taught ninth grade English at Westfield High School.

In 1973 he earned his Master’s in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

In 1975 John tutored patients at Central State Hospital in Waupun and in 1976 moved to Waunakee, Wisconsin. He worked as a teacher on the forensic units at Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison. In 1981 he decided to enroll in law school at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He graduated in 1984 and was admitted to the Wisconsin Bar that Fall.

In 1986 he moved to Little Rock, Arkansas and worked as a librarian at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock Law School library. Afterward he moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota where he was employed at Hamline University School of Law library as Head of Public Services. He stayed at Hamline for 18 years retiring in 2005.

John was a life member of the National Education Association, past member of the American Association of Law Libraries and the Wisconsin Education Association. He was a member of the Wisconsin State Bar Association since 1984.

John loved humor and some of his favorite movies were “Young Frankenstein”, “Some Like It Hot”, “A Fish Called Wonda”, “Paper Moon”, “The Maltese Falcon”, and “Singin’ in the Rain” among many. One of his favorite books was “A Confederacy of Dunes”. Even though he was not a joke teller himself, he especially appreciated wit in others. His favorite TV series were “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” along with “The Three Stooges” and “Laurel and Hardy”.

John also liked serious music and frequently attended concerts of the Minnesota Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Minnesota Opera.

One of his hobbies was genealogy, history and he liked to research family history. He liked to travel to various historical sites, visit state capitol buildings and historical houses.

He is survived by his brother, Bruce of DeForest, Wisconsin; his sister-in-law, Marge Tessner; his nephew, Benjamin Tessner of DeForest; his great-nephew, Oliver Alfred Tessner of DeForest; and his niece, Sophie Tessner of Portage, Wisconsin; as well as cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Al on September 18, 1999, and Ruth on October 29, 2000; and his brother, Gary on October 4, 2002.

Private entombment will be held in the Chapel of the Risen Christ Mausoleum, Calvary Cemetery in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. A Celebration of John’s life will take place in Spring in the Fond du Lac area.

Additional information and guestbook can be found by visiting