January 23, 1928 - April 3, 2018
John Ernst Wolter was born to immigrant parents, John and Thea Wolter, in St Charles Ill. He spoke no English until he began kindergarten five years later in Chicago where his father had moved the family in 1930 for better job opportunities. Growing up in Chicago you'd better believe he was a hard core Cub's fan!
Following graduation from Lane Tech High School in 1945 he entered Purdue University that Fall where he majored in and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. He also was a active member of the Purdue's football and wrestling teams. He graduated in 1949 with a Distinguished Military Graduate award due to his high grades and given a regular commission in the Air Force. He was in the first graduating class of Air Force ROTC. Up to this point only the Army and Navy commissioned college ROTC graduates into service.
He married Doris L. Johnson on June 30, 1951, and they had two sons; John Thomas (deceased) 1953 and Timothy Carl, 1955.
His bad knees from sports endeavors made the Air Force examine him more closely to see if he could “withstand the rigors of military life”. Not only was he deemed able to withstand the rigors of military life but over his 30-year military career he fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars, flew eight different airplanes and lent his leadership as vice wing commander at Kincheloe AFB in Michigan and vice commandant of the Armed Forces Staff College at Maxwell AFB in Alabama.
He completed his master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University in 1968. His final military assignment and the family's 26th military move was to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln as professor of Aero Space Studies. He was forever a fan of Big Red!
It was here in Lincoln that John and Doris let their roots deepen into the heart of the community. They joined Trinity United Methodist Church where he was chairman of the trustees as well as the treasurer for 10-12 years. Following retirement from the AF in 1979 he was employed by Miller & Moore Accounting, 1980-82, and by Union College as director of development from 1983-90.
He also lent his leadership skills to Rotary Club #14 becoming president from 1978-79 and the district governor of Rotary District 5650 from 1985-86. John was a contributing member of the Chamber of Commerce, on the board for the Samaritan Center, The Rotary Foundation, the Administrative Council as well as several other quality organizations.
John an avid golfer, owner of his own golf cart, always sought to improve his skills with ongoing lessons. He could hit a ball 300 yards and had a very low handicap. If you have spent any time with John, you were his friend. You were welcomed with his creative stories and crazy jokes all told for your enjoyment. He loved to laugh and included all who were nearby in his joy. Full of life, he thoroughly enjoyed people and saw them all as valuable along life's journey. He was a man of detail and purpose whose word could be trusted and service always went above and beyond what one might expect.
He is deeply loved by his family and survived by wife of 67 years; Doris, son; Tim (Jolene), Catherine, Kyle and Laura, daughter-in-law; Meg, Lindsey (Tom) Elliott, David (Amanda) and great-grandchildren: Greyson, Marguerite, Mele, Emerson, and Zeke.
John will be celebrated from 3 - 4 p.m. and visitation with refreshments immediately following from 4 - 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, at Trinity United Methodist Church located at 7130 Kentwell Lane, Lincoln, NE 68516. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, John Wolter memorial.