John P. Herpst

John P. Herpst, age 90, passed peacefully on February 21, 2023, at Cascade Creek Memory Care in Rochester, MN. John was born November 12, 1932, in Elmwood, WI to Elizabeth (Wild) and John Herpst. He graduated from Elmwood High School, earned a Bachelor of Science degree from UW-River Falls, where he was awarded the Outstanding Leadership in Education Award in 1975, and received a Master of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota.
He served the Mondovi Public Schools for 34 years as a Science and Math teacher, Guidance Counselor, High School Principal and Superintendent of Schools. He served as president-elect of the Wisconsin Association of Secondary School Principals. He was a volunteer instructor for AARP, teaching their Senior Drivers course.
John was especially proud to have served in the Army Security Agency in Korea during the Korean War. After his term of active service, he joined the active US Army Reserve where he served an additional 37 years for a total of 40 years and 3 months. He attained the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4, served as the supply warrant officer for the 397th Engineer Battalion in Eau Claire and later served as the Food Service Advisor for the 88th US Army Reserve Command headquartered at Fort Snelling. Of several earned medals, he was especially proud of the two Army Commendation Medals, a Meritorious Achievement Medal and a Legion of Merit medal. He was a member of the Mondovi American Legion, VFW and Military Officers Association of America. John was a member of the Mondovi Lions Club for over 50 years. He served as president and was awarded the Melvin Jones Humanitarian Achievement Award. John was very proud to have been chosen as the Grand Marshall of the Mondovi Fourth of July parade in 2022.
On February 9, 1957, he married Yvonne Brunner at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Arkansaw, WI. They were married 58 years at Yvonne’s death in 2015.
John and Yvonne took full advantage of retirement spending winters in Florida, Hawaii and Arizona, traveling in the US and to foreign countries, visiting and making friends everywhere they went. Even before retirement, there was always a summer vacation. The girls and grandchildren inherited the travel bug and travel as much as they can.
John and Yvonne enjoyed entertaining family and friends (Christmas and Easter celebrations, Fourth of July brunches and the pre-Thanksgiving cocktail parties). He also enjoyed silversmithing, collector cars (he especially enjoyed his convertibles), visiting the casinos and meeting the guys for morning coffee. John had a life well lived.
John is survived by daughters Nan (Ken) Hall of Minneapolis, MN, Meg Schimek of Rochester, MN and grandchildren, Madisen Schimek of Los Angeles, CA and Tristan Schimek of Austin, MN; sisters-in-law, Elaine Brunner, Jeanette Elbina and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Yvonne; parents, Elizabeth and John Herpst; brother, Darrell Herpst and sister, Ruth Shott.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, February 27, 2023, at 11:00AM at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Mondovi with Father Timothy Reither officiating. Friends visited one hour prior to the service at the Church. Burial with military honors was at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Mondovi. Lunch will be served after the services.
Kjentvet-Smith Funeral Home in Mondovi is assisting the family. To express on-line condolences visit obituaries at
Special thanks to the caregivers and staff at St Croix Hospice, Hillview Senior Living and Cascade Creek Memory Care.


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