John E. Syrja Profile Photo

John E. Syrja

September 21, 1957 — April 27, 2023


John E. Syrja


John Ernie Syrja, age 65 of Madison passed away at home on 4/27/23. He was born in Minong, Wisconsin to Jacob Syrja and Bertha Syrja (Ostrom). The family spent the first 7 years of his life swimming and fishing in Lake Nancy before moving to Madison in 1964 where John would spend the rest of his life. More than anything, John loved his family and his dog Shelby. He was a beloved Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle and friend to all. John devoted his life to taking care of his family and treasured the hours he spent taking his mother for car rides to see the sights, long nightly talks with his sister and trading jokes with his nephews. His greatest pride and joy (he would tell anyone willing to listen) were his 3 children Aaryn, Brian and Jacob and then his grandchildren. With the birth of each grandchild, John came and helped provide care in the first months of their lives, creating special bonds and memories for his kids and grandkids.

John had a wonderful sense of humor, quick wit, an easy smile and endless patience. He knew how to lighten the mood in any situation. He made everyone feel cared for and important. He was the first person many of us called when we needed rescuing, and he always found a way to be there or help.  With John, there were no strangers, only friends that he had not met yet.

John spent many years working at Central Colony doing patient care and developing lifelong friendships. John loved motorcycles, fishing, and pretending to hunt while enjoying the great outdoors. He was an avid woodworker and created beautiful pieces of art. He loved family meals, celebrations and really loved holidays; especially Christmas when he would try to outdo Clark Griswold.

John is Survived by; Daughter Aaryn Ebner (Kyle), Son Brian Hale (Darla), Son Jacob Syrja, Sister Jackie Syrja (Jim), Brother Duane, Nephews Travis Currier (Angie) Jessie Wendorf and Chris, Grandchildren Kaleb, Kaleigh, Keagan, Kasen, Braiden, Bella and Skylar. Best Friends and partners in crime and life Gee Lynch and Pat Banks. Plus, many more nieces, nephews and cousins.

John was preceded in death by his parents Jacob and Bertha Syrja, ex-wife Kathy Dickinson, nephew Shane Corning, and his beloved Aunt and Uncles Adaline and Wilfred Link, Ernie Ostrom and Bob Link.

Celebration of Life Gathering will be held at the Esquire Club on Friday, May 5th from 12:00 noon until 2:30 p.m. Please join us to celebrate all the love and laughter that made John the wonderful person that he was.

Please share your memories at


Cress - Sun Prairie

1310 Emerald Terrace

Sun Prairie, WI 53590

(608) 837-9054

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John E. Syrja, please visit our flower store.


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