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John A. "Poppy" Aukstikalnis

September 8, 1937 ~ July 28, 2019 (age 81)
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John A. Aukstikalnis

NORTH ORANGE- John A. Aukstikalnis “Poppy”, 81, died peacefully at his home on the morning of Sunday, July 28, 2019, surrounded by his family.

He was the son of the late John and Margaret Aukstikalnis.

Born in Athol, he lived his entire life locally, residing the majority of his life at the family home in North Orange.

John graduated from Athol High School in 1955 and served in the United States Army for 3 years before attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he earned a Bachelor’s degree. He then re-enlisted in the United States military as a member of the Air Force Reserves, from which he retired in 1996.

John also worked for the Department of Employment Security until his retirement in 1997. He was known there as John “Austin” as he got tired of people not being able to pronounce his name.

Anyone who knows John is aware of his extreme passion for hunting. If the dozens of deer heads lining the walls on his home didn’t give it away, his “Deer Season” answering machine message made it very clear: you would not be getting a call back until the end of the year.

When he wasn’t in the woods knocking down a 200lb buck, you could find him running through the back roads and trails of the area. Long distance running was another of his passions as he completed 22 marathons in his lifetime including numerous Boston Marathons.

Capturing memories of these life adventures was very important to John, as evidenced by the many many boxes of photographs to be sorted by his family for years to come.

John married Theresa (O’Brien) Aukstikalnis in 1961 and they had eight children.

He is survived by his children, John Aukstikalnis and his wife, Elaine, of Richmond, NH, Jean (Aukstikalnis) Powling and her husband, Gerry, of Orange, Tony Aukstikalnis of Okinawa, Japan, Dan Aukstikalnis of North Orange, Tim Aukstikalnis and his wife, Denise, of Athol, and Chris Aukstikalnis of North Orange. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Joseph Powling and his wife, Sarah, Timothy Powling, Elizabeth Powling, Luke Aukstikalnis, Noah Aukstikalnis, Timothy Coleman, Cady (Coleman) McBride and her husband, Zack, Kate (Aukstikalnis) Myers, Zach Brynsaas and Jordan Brynsaas; great grandchildren, Joey, Jimmy, Mollie and Luke; as well as several nieces and nephews; and a sister, Elizabeth (Aukstikalnis) Hamlett.

John was predeceased by his daughter, Joan (Aukstikalnis) Connors (2/24/2019) and a son, Michael J. Aukstikalnis (3/28/2019), as well as sisters, Janet Parker Aukstikalnis and Ruth Aukstikalnis

Calling hours will be held on Friday, August 2, 2019 from 6-8 p.m. at Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 10 a.m. in St. Francis of Assisi Church, 105 Main Street, Athol, with Fr. Edwin Montana officiating.

Interment will follow in South Cemetery, Orange.

Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is directing the arrangements.

You may offer you’re your sympathy online at www.wittyfuneralhome.com

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