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John Joseph Huyck, 84, devoted husband, loving father, doting grandfather and great-grandfather, dedicated son and brother, and gregarious friend, went to his eternal reward on Nov. 11, 2018.
John was born March 10, 1934 in Minneapolis to Adrian and Blanche Huyck, as one of six children. As a teenager, an interest in cooking and restaurant work took him to Vocational High School.
John served in the United States Army between 1953 and 1955, achieving the rank of corporal. After his military service, John returned to the Twin Cities, where he continued to work in area restaurants. Soon after, John met Marlene Litchy. The two married on Aug. 24, 1957.
John worked for a number of hotels and restaurants during his career, including the Calhoun Beach Hotel, the Thunderbird, and various Holiday Inns, before ending his career at the Knights of Columbus in Bloomington. In 1967, the International Geneva Association awarded him an “Oscar” for his “Outstanding service to the I.G.A. and the Catering Industry.” Even in a hectic kitchen, John’s good humor and compassion stood out. That could mean bringing coffee out to cold hourly workers during a strike.
Working as a chef meant long hours, but John always found time to be with his wife and four children: Family outings and vacations, ball games and camping trips, and a parade of school events and other activities. He always showed great patience, whether it was teaching them how well-down a piece of meat was with a touch, or rescuing one of them when their car broke down. His own hobbies included gardening and woodworking, where he built birdhouses, furniture, and toys.
Once grandchildren came, John found a new generation to dote over. New traditions started as well, such as conspiring with his young granddaughters to wrap blocks of wood and hiding them under the Christmas Tree as extra presents for the whole family. He also applied his love of woodworking, making an endless supply of children’s toys.
A devastating automobile accident in early 1994 left John in a coma for several weeks. He recovered, but his disability forced him into early retirement. After moving to Mounds View, John found a new routine, which included several miles of walking each day, with many stops along the way to greet his neighbors and friends in the neighborhood.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Adrian and Blanche, grandsons Daniel and William, sister Rosie and brother Adrian Jr. He is survived by his loving wife, Marlene, children Sharon (Brad) Breeggemann, Michael, Patrick (Lynn) and Edward; grandchildren Lee (Birch) Breeggemann, KC (Pat) McDermeit, Liz (Thomas) Lura, Emily (Martin) Gabrielsen, Benjamin Huyck; great-grandchildren Wren and Noah; and sisters Yvonne, Louise, and Mary.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 19, with visitation one hour prior to the service, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 835 2nd Ave. NW, New Brighton, Minn.
Special thanks to Unity Hospital , the Benedictine Health Center at Innsbruck, and Allina Health Hospice for their considerate care during John’s final days.