John Matthew Chernugal
September 30, 1941 - January 27, 2023
Our dear father, John Chernugal, age 81 of Bigfork, Minnesota passed away on Friday, January 27, 2023 at Autumn Lane Assisted Living in Cohasset, MN. He will be sadly missed but forever loved.
John was born in 1941 and raised the eldest of two sons to John A. and Rose (Verant) Chernugal in Hibbing, MN. Early years were spent learning the ways on the farm and later learning skills from his father how to be self-reliant. After graduating from Hibbing High School in 1959, he went on to complete a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Arts from Bemidji State University. He was proud to say he was an “Iron Ranger” and the values of hard work and perseverance stayed with him.
He married Christine Rose on July 3, 1965 at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Kelly Lake, MN. John & Christine then headed for Flint, Michigan where John took his first job as an Industrial Arts “Shop” teacher at Longfellow Junior High School. While in Flint, he earned a master’s degree. After five years in Michigan, they returned home to MN, landing in Bigfork in 1970 where John spent the next 31 years teaching Shop at Bigfork High School, retiring in 2001. John made a positive impact on many area youth who continue to reminisce about the good old days in shop class.
John truly enjoyed talking to people, helping others, and made sure everyone else was taken care of before himself. Folks often stopped by his driveway in town just to chat with him. He worked many summers that involved excavation jobs with his son Jim, installing septic systems, or doing various construction tasks. He was always the first one to show up at a job & the last one to leave. He valued time with his family the most. He always made time to play any game, tell a story/joke to learn from, or take on an outdoor adventure with you. He was proud of his children and grandchildren and it made him happy to see them productive. He never missed a chance to attend Grandparent’s Day with his wife Christine. During retirement, John rarely sat idle, he enjoyed spending time in his garage working on projects with his grandson Kyle, taking walks in the woods with his chocolate lab Cokey, and helping his kids with work on their houses. He was a character who always knew what to say and when to say it.
John is preceded in death by his parents John A. & Rose (Verant) Chernugal, in-laws Dan & Amelia Rose, and brother in-law Danny Rose Jr.
John is survived by his wife of 57 years, Christine, a son, Jim Chernugal, Bigfork, MN, 2 daughters, Michele Chernugal, Grand Rapids, MN and Angela (Kent) Ledermann, Remer, MN, 3 grandchildren, Kyle (Nellie) Ledermann, Raina Ledermann & Sylvie Ledermann, brother Richard (Mary) Chernugal, Bemidji, MN, sister-in law MaryAnn (Charles) Erickson, Hibbing, MN and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
There will be a private family service held at a later date. The family of John wishes to thank everyone at Autumn Lane in Cohasset & Itasca Hospice for the kind, compassionate care John received. We are forever grateful for you.