John E. Roehl, 63, passed away Monday, April 22, 2013, at the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice Center.

John was born in Sheboygan, Wis., on May 17, 1949, to the late William and Mildred (Nohl) Roehl. He attended Haven School, Champion School, and Mosel Lakeview, graduating from Howards Grove High School in 1967.

He was united in marriage to Katherine Klemme on Oct. 25, 1975, at Saron U.C.C., in Sheboygan Falls, and moved to Howards Grove. There they raised their three children, Amy, Eric and Nathan Roehl.

John loved to work and for most of his life, had three jobs. John farmed the Roehl homestead in Haven, raising heifers and growing several crops. He loved bartending at his family’s restaurant, Klemme’s Wagon Wheel, and especially enjoyed spending Friday nights with his friends. John also loved to play the tenor saxophone and the clarinet.

John was an early member of the Polka Kings with his good friend Arwin Herzog, which later became the Arwin Herzog Orchestra. In 1988, John took over the band and named the band as the John Roehl Orchestra. He has played with Arwin Herzog, Carl Laack, David Dedering, Wyman Drake, John Perronne, and Rich Tengowski since 1988. In 1998, John was named the Orchestra Leader of the Year by the Wisconsin Orchestra Leaders Association and in 2004, the band was named WHBL’s “Polka Idol.”

Throughout his life, John served on various committees with the Howards Grove School District and played in the Howards Grove Pep Band, the “Repeats.”

He also served as deacon, elder, and president at Saron U.C.C., where he had been a member for over 35 years.

John played as hard as he worked and will be remembered for his sense of humor. John and his wife Kathy loved to travel, going on several cruises to Mexico and the Caribbean with friends, making several trips to New York City and Washington, D.C., to visit their children, and also visiting Europe.

John is survived by his wife, Kathy (Klemme); and his children, Amy Roehl of Madison, Eric Roehl of Madison and Nathan Roehl of Howards Grove; his brother, Ronald (Lois) Roehl; and his brother-in-law, Roger (Pat) Klemme. He also is survived by his “daughter,” Kirstin (Jason) Roethel and his “grandchildren,” Kaedin, Myka and Heath Roethel; and by special friends, Orville and Doris Knoener, Paul and Dorene Koehn, and his bartending buddies, Don and Randy.

In addition to his parents, John was also preceded in death by his in-laws, Reywald and Bernice (Chomczyk) Klemme, and his brothers-in-law, James and John Klemme.

A funeral service will be held for John at Saron United Church of Christ at 11 a.m. Friday, April 26. Entombment will follow at Garden of Peace Mausoleum.

Family and friends may gather at Zimmer’s Westview Funeral and Cremation Care Center, State 42 and County JJ, Howards Grove, from 3-8 p.m. Thursday, April 25, and on Friday at the CHURCH from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in the name of John Roehl.

Please visit to sign the guest book.

The family would like to thank Dennis Mueller, Gene Kaestner, Frank Zimmerman, Ronald Roehl, and the Jerome Jaeger family for all their help on the family farm during John’s illness. They would also like to thank Carl Laack and the band members for continuing the band.

John’s family would like to thank the staff at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic and at the Sharon Richardson Community Hospice Center for all their assistance. They would also like to thank the many friends and family members who supported John and them throughout John’s illness.

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