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SARASOTA, Fla. — John M. Wrenn, 99, of Sarasota, Fla., passed away Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, with his loving wife and family by his side.

John was born in Chicago on Jan. 7, 1922. After high school, John attended Shurtleff College before enlisting in the Army in April 1943. He trained as a medic and saw action at the Battle of the Bulge and then served with the occupation forces in Japan. Returning home, John attended the University of Illinois and played football with the 1946-47 team, which played and won the Rose Bowl championship. After graduation, John accepted the position of teacher and head coach at the East Moline high school while earning his master’s degree. In 1960, he moved to DeKalb and became the line coach for Northern Illinois University. John also served as coach for the wrestling and tennis teams at NIU. He retired in 1976 and was later recognized at NIU’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

John married Bette Withey Evensen in 1974, and at John’s retirement, they moved to Sarasota, where they enjoyed traveling the world, spending time with family and their many friends. In 1990, John and Bette were flown to East Moline by the alumni group for a wonderful weekend in recognition of the years he spent teaching and coaching in the Quad Cities.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William P. and Mary (Barrett) Wrenn; siblings, William, Leo and Mary (William) Malone; first wife, Jean Duncan-Good; and stepdaughter, Sandra (Evensen) Dulin.

John is survived by his wife of 47 years, Bette; brother, Lawrence; daughter, Richey (Gary) Krahenbuhl of Tempe, Ariz.; son, John Jr. (Cindy) of Las Vegas; grandchildren, Lisa (Lance) Harrington of Sugar Hill, Ga., Julie (Carey) Truelick of Tempe, Kevin (Allison) Krahenbuhl of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Mike (Allison) Krahenbuhl of Scottsdale, Ariz., Jason (Cheryl) Wrenn of Reseda, Calif., and Andrea (Aaron) Dalzell of Las Vegas; 11 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; two stepchildren, Mark (Lynn) Evensen of Sarasota and Theresa (Tommy) Adkins of Dayton, Ohio; stepgranddaughters, Catherine (Jesse) Cocozza of Sarasota and Stephanie and David Zalich of Tampa, Fla.; and four stepgreat-grandchildren, Mason and Molly Cocozza and Caden and Caleb Zalich.

A celebration of life will be held at Sarasota National Cemetery on Jan. 7 on what would have been John's 100th birthday.

In lieu of flowers, scholarship donations may be made to the Northern Illinois University Foundation, P.O. Box 746, DeKalb, IL 60115. Please make the check out to the foundation and add "John Wrenn Football Scholarship" in the memo.

The family would like to thank the staff at SMH Nursing & Rehab Center and the staff at Tidewell Hospice of Sarasota for their love and care of John during his stay.

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