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Obituary: John C. DaValt

Nov 17, 2017 04:46PM ● Published by Jim

John C. DaValt

John C. DaValt, age 81, of Beaver Dam, passed away peacefully Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at Beaver Dam Community Hospital.

At John’s request, there will be a memorial gathering at a later date.  More information will be made public following the holidays.

John Charles DaValt was born on November 16, 1935 in Oak Park, Illinois to the late Harland and Evelyn (Buege) DaValt. He attended schools in Villa Park, IL and was a 1953 graduate of York Community High School in Elmhurst, IL.  In 1957, John earned his B.S. Degree in Education from Northern Illinois University where he was a member and historian of Phi Sigma Epsilon Fraternity.  He attended UW Madison and UW Oshkosh for post graduate work and graduated from Western Illinois University with a M.S. in Education in 1964. On August 25, 1995, John was united in marriage with Sheila (nee: Witthun) Ruenger in Waupaca.

After working at National Tea Company in Chicago from 1951 to 1959, John began his teaching career in 1959 at Girard, IL Community School District where he taught math, science, and physical education for two years.  From 1961-1964, John taught 6th grade for the Kewaunee, IL School District.  In 1964, he moved to Beaver Dam and worked in the Beaver Dam School District until he retired in 1998.  He first served as a 5th grade teacher at Washington Elementary, 5th and 6th grade teacher and principal at Trenton School, and principal of Wilson and South Beaver Dam Elementary Schools.  John was also the Title 1 coordinator from 1993-1998.  In retirement, John enjoyed driving funeral coach for Banes Funeral Coach Service until 2003.

John touched the lives of approximately 5000 students over the years.  He was a stern and demanding at times, but always fair.  Individuals still respect and acknowledge him, still referring to him as Mr. DaValt.  Understandably, those school times will be remembered and cherished by many.

John was an active member of the Beaver Dam Community.  He was a charter member of the Beaver Dam Optimist Club where he served as external vice president and president.  He was a member of the Humane Society and served on its board of directors.  John was a dedicated member of the Beaver Dam Country Club and the Thursday Night Men’s League that he was treasure of for 21 years.  He was also a member of White Tails and served as publicity chairman.  John was a member of the Wisconsin School Administrators for 34 years and the National Association of Elementary Principals for 34 years.  John enjoyed reading history and novels, cooking and golfing with his friends.

Survivors include his loving wife, Sheila; his two sons, Greg (Donna) DaValt of Chandler, OK and Brian DaValt, and his special friend Patricia Collins, of Stoughton; granddaughter Cassie DaValt of Stoughton; step children, Randall Ruenger and Brad (Sara) Ruenger of Fox Lake, and Jill (Terry) Cullen of Beaver Dam; step grandchildren, Courtney and Connor Cullen of Beaver Dam, and Amber, Brock, and Jordan Ruenger of Randolph; a brother-in-law, Tom Witthun of Neenah; other relatives and many friends.  He was preceded in death by his father and mother, in 1967 and 1981 respectively; his grandson, Collin DaValt in 2017; and aunts and uncles in Illinois and Iowa.

John’s life philosophy can be summarized as follows:  John asked little of others, but demanded much of himself.  Often the value of one’s life is measured not so much by the number of years they are with us, but by the number of lives they have touched.  John enriched the lives of those who knew him and will be remembered for his caring and compassionate nature.  The legacy that he leaves to his family and friends is that we devote a portion of our time and talents to make this world a better place to live.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be given to the Dodge County Humane Society or to the family for a future memorial.

The Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam is caring for the family. To leave online condolences, or for directions and other information, please visit our website at

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