John Joseph Picard, 81, known by everyone as “Jack” or “Big John”, passed away unexpectedly Saturday, January 30, 2021 at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay, WI. He was a resident of Escanaba, MI.
John was born in Schaffer, MI on June 14, 1939, son of John Picard, Sr. and Marie Anderson. He was a very proud American and fond of being born on “Flag Day.” He graduated from Escanaba High School, served in the U.S. Army Reserves from October 6, 1956 through October 6, 1964, and had been awarded as a Golden Glove Boxer.
John married Joyce Nedeau Papineau on November 6, 1965. They enjoyed 55 years of marriage and were very proud of their extended family, which included 125 grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
John is survived by his loving wife, Joyce Picard of Escanaba. He was the proud father to Donald John and Amy Picard of Escanaba, Lori Lynn Picard, and Debra Jean Couper and her husband, Jeffrey, who reside in Iron Mountain. When John married Joyce, he became the father to and raised her children, Kim Papineau, Belinda Papineau, Timothy Papineau, Terry Papineau, and Brent Papineau, and their families. He always took pride in taking care of his family AND especially the babies. Papa Jack loved those babies! John is also survived by his sisters, Donna- Wennell- Tourangeau and Mary Lou- Harlan LaPalm; sisters-in-law, Mrs. Joseph- Barbara Picard, and Mrs. Laverne Picard. John enjoyed his friendship with his brother-in-law, Ivan Nedeau (Tillie) and family; and sister-in-law, Joanie Dufour of Escanaba. John had several cousins living in the area and in Lower Michigan.
Jack’s surviving grandchildren include, Adam John Joseph Picard (Jen Garlow), Megan Katherine Picard, Nicholas Allen and Trina Picard, Stephen and Stacy Eagle, Elaine Eagle, Jaime Eagle, Brent Papineau, Jr., Brookes Papineau, Kimberly (Papineau) and Scott Peterson, Lisa (Papineau) and Kevin Beem, Vince Papineau, Tori Eden, Bill Papineau, Jeff Papineau, and Sherry Pamperin and all of their families.
Jack worked as a machinist/welder at Harnischfeger Corp of Escanaba for 23 years. He and Joyce were well known in the Escanaba area for making sure everyone was well fed. They owned Bonamer’s Bar for several years, catered many marriage ceremonies, and always had a fresh stock pot of soup on their stove for all to enjoy. You could always visit them in their home and leave well satisfied. John played softball with his brother, Joe, and his sons. They won several tournaments and proved to be a “force to be reckoned with.” Jack was an avid Detroit Tigers Baseball and Detroit Lions Football fan and loved rooting for his teams. He enjoyed basketball, hunting camp, playing cards- especially cribbage- and was well known for his “big hugs.” He enjoyed listening to Country Music, especially Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” and Jimmy Dean’s “Big Bad John.” He participated in local Dart Ball Leagues and Church Leagues. John and Joyce were members of St. Thomas Church, where he was an Usher for many years. He was a faithful man and would want to be remembered as such.
John was preceded in death by his daughter, Lori Lynn Picard, on January 21, 2021; step-sons, Kim and Timothy Papineau; his parents, John and Marie Picard; brothers, Jerry Picard, Leo Picard, and Joseph Picard; and grandsons Anthony Eagle and Stephen Eagle, Jr., and Jonathan Boursaw.
Private family visitation will take place at the Anderson Funeral Home in Escanaba. Public Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, February 6, 2021 at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Escanaba with Father Rick Courier officiating. Due to the current mandate, masks and social distancing are required. A reception will be held at the conclusion of the services. Burial will take place in the Gardens of Rest Cemetery.
“ We’ve all come to understand.. there was always love in Daddy’s hands.”
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