John Paul “Wheels” Lealiou

July 29, 1964
December 14, 2023

A man walks into the Heavenly version of Cropsey’s and says to the bartender, “A beer for my ma and pa and me.  We have a lot to get caught up with.  You see, I sure have missed them a lot.”

That is the vision that we all have for our brother, uncle, cousin and friend, John Paul “Wheels” Lealiou, upon his unexpected passing last Thursday morning, December 14, 2023, at his home.  Our brother was born on July 29, 1964, to our parents, the late Richard and Edwina (Ostrenga) Lealiou. All his life John was a northsider and proud of it. He graduated from Green Bay East in 1982.  He was employed as a lab optician for Shopko for 26 years until his retirement.

Some people ask why was his nickname “Wheels”?  Because of a car accident when he just turned 18, it left him a paraplegic and a wheelchair became his new set of wheels.  Believe me, even with those wheels, John lived a full and active life.  He was involved with wheelchair basketball and volunteered with some of the local organizations related to people with disabilities. When there was a camping or weekend activity, his friends and family would gather him and his wheels and would make sure John would be there to partake wherever the activity was at.  And we can’t forget the weekends and parties at his cottage in Crivitz.  John was always busy with his hobbies, cruising and enjoying time with his siblings, friends, nieces and nephews.

For family, John is survived with three good looking brothers: Joe (Enri) Ostrenga; Don (Kathy) Lealiou and Tom (Lynn) Lealiou.  Two pretty and sweet natured sisters; Julie (Ted) Wiesman and Mary Lealiou (Gordy DeWane); John’s roommate, Dan (Dano) Sheer; nieces and nephews that he loved dearly.

And then there was his family of choice. And this family was large, very large.  John had this knack for meeting, attracting and making friends.  One of the treasured gifts that all of us kids got from our mom.  We want to make a special mention of his Cropsey’s family who John loved.

Friends may call at the Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St. from 4:00 – 7:00 pm Thursday, December 21. A memorial service will close the evening at 7:00 pm on Thursday at the funeral home with Rev. Jose Lopez officiating. Entombment in the Allouez Chapel Mausoleum. Online condolences may be sent to John’s family at

So, when it’s our time to leave this earth, don’t forget to look up our brother John, in heaven.  I am sure he’ll want to buy you a beer and get caught up.  We love you buddy.

December 21, 2023
4:00-7:00 pm
Proko-Wall Funeral Home [map]
Memorial Service
December 21, 2023
7:00 pm
Proko-Wall Funeral Home [map]

Robert J. Walczyk Jr. is serving the family.