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Decorated WWII vet turns 100

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Decorated WWII vet turns 100

Baraboo artist, Alan Anderson, presents John Geoghegan, pictured, with a painting made from a photograph taken a few years ago, during a June 15 Sauk County Historical Society celebration of Geoghegan's 100th birthday.

Decorated WWII vet turns 100

John Geoghegan of rural Baraboo turned 100 on June 15, 2022, and was honored at a celebration held by the Sauk County Historical Society at the Sauk County Fairgrounds.

Geoghegan was born in Baraboo to Thomas and Agnes Geoghegan at their home on Fourth Avenue. After graduating from high school, he was the first employee for what would become the Badger Ordnance Works delivering mail as the plant was built. He might have worked there had he not been drafted to serve in the U.S. Army for World War II. Trained in Texas and Louisiana, Geoghegan left for the European front in October 1944, and served with the 409th Infantry Regiment. By late December his platoon was in southwestern Germany where they encountered fierce resistance. Geoghegan was awarded the bronze star.

He was shot and wounded in March 1945, and ultimately ended up in a hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, where he met and fell in love with a nurse named Jane Allen. The couple later married, settled down near Baraboo, and were blessed with six children.

Geoghegan was elected as Sauk County Highway Commissioner in 1963, a job which he held for 37 years. At age 100, Geoghegan still serves on the town board for Greenfield, a position he has held for more than 30 years.

The South Central Wisconsin Shamrock Club named him Irishman of the Year in 1988, and is now officially proclaimed Irishman of the Century. Sauk County Board chair Tim McCumber and Sauk County supervisor Kevin Schell delivered a resolution passed by the full county board declaring June 15 as John Geoghegan Day and names the conference room in the soon-to-be-built highway department building after him. Baraboo artist, Alan Anderson, presented Geoghegan with a painting of him made from a photograph taken a few years ago.

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