John “Jack” Tesina

June 28, 1933 – Aug. 20, 2021


John “Jack” Tesina, of Bee, was born June 28, 1933, in David City, to John and Louise (Hoffbauer) Tesina and passed away Aug. 20, 2021, in Lincoln, at the age of 88. Jack was raised on a farm near Dwight. He attended Assumption School in Dwight through 10th grade. 

He was drafted and joined the Navy in 1955. After his discharge in 1957, he met the love of his life and best friend, Genevieve “Genny” Vavra. They married Sept. 5, 1959, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Ulysses. They moved to a farm north of Bee, joining St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Bee. They were blessed with three children, Lori, John and Veronica.

After his marriage, he received his GED. He was an electrician, plumber and expert welder. He loved being a farmer and cattle rancher. He was inventive; if he couldn’t find what he had in mind, he would create it. Jack and his friend, Bill, started BILLY JACK, an electric, plumbing and heating business.

He was as a mechanic for Metro Mail in Seward, then the maintenance guy for Ulysses. His son, John, joined him with the farm and ranching operation, which continues today along with many personal touches he left behind.

He made time to volunteer, and especially enjoyed serving his church. Jack was the 4-H leader for the Plum Creek Tractor Club, member of the Seward County Zoning Board, member of St. Wenceslaus men’s club, choir and cemetery board. For years, he provided electrical, plumbing and general repair of the church. He worked with the masonry on the church grotto and was involved with building the church in the early 1960s. Jack was a member of the Volunteer Fire Department, American Legion Post #110 and Knights of Columbus council 738.

Jack was full of fun, as he always had a joke to share and would announce himself with “Have no Fear, Jack is Here!” He and Genny did everything together. They would take afternoon rides on his Honda 90 or drive around country roads sitting side by side. They would go to polka dances and be the first out on the floor. Before long, he would be on stage singing with the band.

Jack loved his family and loved spending time with his grandchildren. He was especially proud to teach and pass on his farm and electrical skills to his only grandson, Kyle.

Jack is preceded in death by his parents; mother and father-in-law, Christine and Anton Vavra; brother, David; son-in-law, Paul Witzel; sister-in-law, Sally Allgaier; and nephews, Kevin Bohaty and Chris Allgaier.

Survivors cherishing his memory include his wife of nearly 62 years, Genny Tesina; children, Lori Witzel, Cabool, Missouri, John Tesina, Bee, and Veronica Gabel, Bee; grandchildren, Courtney (Steve) Ruscetti, Nikki (Allen) Short, Kyle Gabel (partner, Meagan Manning), Elizabeth (Andrew) Koepp and Jaime Gabel (fiancé, Jason Orr); great-grandchildren, Hailee Ruscetti, Hudson Short, Ashton Polston, Kaden Shepherd, Brenna and Karina Koepp; brothers and sisters-in-law; Eleanor and Richard Bohaty, Ron and Pat Vavra and Bob Allgaier, and a host of other family and friends.

He donated his body to the University of Nebraska Medical Center. A memorial mass will be this fall. Condolences may be left for the family online at


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