John Mogan

May 20, 1926
October 26, 2020

John A. Mogan, 94, stopped missing the love of his life, Rosemary, on October 26th, 2020, and was welcomed back into her loving arms. Finally, together again.

John was born in Channing, MI on May 20th, 1926. He attended Channing High School, winning a UP Championship on their basketball team. In spite of that accomplishment, John was overlooked in the NBA draft, having not attained the minimum 6’6” height requirement.

Johnny Mogan enlisted in the armed forces in WWII, proudly serving in the US Navy while stationed in San Francisco.

At war’s end, John attended Northern Michigan University where he studied History. John had an excellent vocabulary and always could find the right words for any occasion.

After his time at NMU, John went to work on the Milwaukee Road railroad on July 2nd, 1947, as did his father and uncles before him, as well as his son Tim, who had a long career as an Engineer on the CN. John was very proud of Tim following in his footsteps. The railroad was in John’s blood and he worked for the railroad basically all of his career. During his time there, John became involved in the United Transportation Union.

His natural leadership ability coupled with a very sharp mind allowed him to rise up the ladder in the UTU, in time becoming the General Chairman, responsible for a five-state region. With these significant responsibilities, John eventually left the company to work full time for the Union.

In his earlier Union role, John represented employees working as Engineers, Brakemen, Conductors, and Firemen working out of terminals in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Channing. Later, as the General Chairman, John represented the same crafts manning trains from Hastings, MN to Louisville, KY. John also represented employees operating the passenger trains of the Northeast Illinois Commuter Railroad (METRA) where his members ran the commuter trains in and about Chicago, IL.

John was well known throughout the railroad industry as he authored and negotiated the first crew consist agreement which allowed for additional pay each time a crew operated with less than a full crew. A very considerable accomplishment.

As significant as his career accomplishments were, his most valued memories were of his family. 

He met Rosemary Frickelton at a dance at the Clubhouse in Sagola, MI. John remembers that it was love at first sight. He married Rosemary on December 2, 1950. The happy couple moved to Green Bay in 1956 with their growing family. Children David and Tim were soon joined by twins Patti and Mike.

John and Rosie loved to entertain. The Mogan Christmas Eve Open House parties were very special. The house was packed with people having a great time. Attendees were always thrilled by the big tree, Mom’s great food and John telling stories about his friends on the railroad. All you heard was laughter and Christmas music, mostly Elvis.

John Mogan loved people. In his Astor Park neighborhood, John was well known by everyone. We all think he pretty much invented jogging. He would literally run everywhere. Run up to Sentry, run to the bank, run to church. He was an avid churchgoer, attending Cathedral for many years. As he got older, his run turned into a brisk walk, but he never stopped making his rounds of the neighborhood. He knew every bank teller, every check out person at Sentry and most of the people who lived around Astor Park.

Being a social guy, John would sometimes frequent the local establishments. In his prime, you’d know John Mogan was at the Lorelei because you’d hear someone break out in song.  

Although Green Bay became his home, the UP always had a special place in his heart. There were so many good times up at Sawyer Lake and the Channing 4th of July Celebrations.

John made everyone feel special, like they were his best friend. He always had a sincere interest in what was happening in their lives. He listened to folks, and they loved him for it.

We could talk forever about John Mogan, but those who knew him have their own stories to tell. John singing and Slabs playing the piano. Dad grabbing the mic at a family wedding and telling stories about the Bride and Groom. Teasing Uncle Roger and calmly discussing whatever with brother Dennis. He’ll be remembered for the best jokes, best stories, best sense of humor.

How can we sum up such a life, one that touched so many? Too many stories, too many great memories. 

John was preceded in eternal life by his beloved wife Rosemary, and their precious baby daughter Paula Marie. We are comforted knowing they are joyfully together once again.

He is joining brothers Emmitt and Roger, who went before him. His parents Amy and Alban, Rosemary’s parents Don and Agnes, and her sister Sharon and brother Patrick.

He is survived by his brother Dennis (Teri), children David (Lori), Tim (Donna), Patti Hoppe (Terry), Mike (Martha), Sister in Laws Shirley Mogan and Carlene Frickelton.

Also survived by his most precious grandchildren, each at one time called Shorty, John and Sara (David), John, Kelly and Charlie (Mike), Christopher and Jessica (Patti), Augie and Cory (Tim) and special grandchildren Natashia and Nicholas. Also survived by his blessed great grandchildren Declan and McKaela (Sara), Reagan and Lucy (Jessica), Evie, Lucy and Mabel (Tim).

If you miss the train he’s on, you will know that he is gone, you can hear the whistle blow 100 miles. Maybe someday you’ll hear someone singing “Sioux City Sue” in the background and think of John Mogan. Rest in Peace, Ol’ Duker.

The Graveside Burial Service will be in Channing, MI, Nov. 7th, 2020 at 1:00pm.  A Celebration of Life will be held at a date and time to be determined.  Online condolences may be expressed at

Special thanks to the staff of Oak Park and Unity Hospice for the care and compassion shown to John (Papa) and his family during his final hours.