John Henry Guldan, age 87 of Hudson, WI, passed away on June 14, 2022 at Our House Senior Living-River Falls Memory Care in River Falls, Wisconsin. John was born on January 28, 1935 in Rosholt, WI to Peter Nicholas and Agnes Elizabeth (Karpinski) Guldan. He grew up and attended school in Rosholt where for a few years his parents operated a diner and he worked at the counter where his favorite activity was making chocolate shakes where he scooped real ice cream into the tin canister near the soda fountain machine. This must be where he developed his sweet tooth. Classmates would beg him for more scoops of ice cream to be placed in their drinks, but John would never put in extra scoops-for them. Being only 5’2”, John was not known for his height, but he still played on the Rosholt High School basketball team. Of course, he only played when someone fouled out or was injured, but he was still an important member of their basketball team. After graduating, John served for four years with the U.S. Air Force, spending two years of that time in Germany. Following his service in the Air Force, John served with the Wisconsin National Guard, and later the Minnesota National Guard. He continued his education at MIT (Milwaukee Institute of Technology) where he earned an Associate degree in Applied Electronics. John met the love of his life, Grace Gardner, at a catholic dance in South Milwaukee. The couple was married on November 26, 1966 at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in South Milwaukee, and their union was blessed with two children, Peter and Pamela. The family eventually made their home in Hudson and John worked as an inspector for Underwriters Laboratories in the Twin Cities.
John and Grace had a charitable spirit by welcoming into their home over 40 people including foster children, foreign exchange students and young adults. They owned and operated the Rainbow Shop, which was a Christian Bookstore in Hudson, and created the food shelf in Hudson. John was a member of the Knights of Columbus and served as a Grand Knight and the District Deputy. Often John would volunteer for various events sponsored by the K of C’s for everything from selling brats out of the food trailer at RJ’s meats, working pancake breakfasts, cleaning up the church, selling tootsie rolls, and organizing youth basketball tournaments just to name a few things. He and Grace both received a Papal Blessing from Pope John Paul II, and the Guldan family was recognized as Family of the Year at St. Patrick Catholic Church in 2005. For over 10 years, John served as the Scout Master for Boy Scout Troop 168 from North Hudson and worked with the Civil Air Patrol aiding cadets in their advancement into the Air Force. Both John and Grace also were merit badge counselors for an additional 30 plus years helping several boys-including their grandson Tommy to earn the Rank of Eagle Scout. John and Grace were very giving and generous, but never wanted to be recognized for the work they did.
John never said much but when he did have something to say the words were anything from things that you should needlepoint on a cushion to hysterical zingers that would have you laughing for weeks. He enjoyed taking his family on weekend camping trips to Willow River State Park, Perch Lake, and Spirit Lake in a StarCraft camper while making memories and having excellent family time fishing, cooking, and eating food outside-especially fried sunfish, pudgy pies and s’mores.
John will remain in the hearts of his children, Peter (Katherine) Guldan and Pamela (Paul) Burke; grandchildren, Nova Grace and June Marie Guldan; and Thomas Francis Burke; his brother, Marian “Chip” (Donna) Guldan; and many nieces, nephews, foster children, foreign exchange students, young adults, other relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his wife, Grace (on June 8, 2022); his parents; and sister, Shirley Mae (Greg) Zurawski,
A Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate John’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 24, 2022 at the St. Patrick Catholic Church in Hudson, Wisconsin. Visitation will be held from 4:00-6:00 p.m., with a 5:45 p.m. prayer service on Thursday, June 23 AT THE CHURCH. Prior to the mass on Friday, a rosary will be said at 9:45 a.m., with visitation from 10:00-11:00 a.m., both at the church. John’s mass will be livestreamed through the St. Patrick Catholic Church Facebook page. Interment at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Hudson.
The family would like to thank the staff of Our House Senior Living-River Falls Memory Care for their wonderful care and support for John and Grace. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Hudson Food Shelf, c/o St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1500 Vine St., Hudson, WI 54016.