Mayor of Rice Lake, John Werner, dies from cancer over the weekend

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The city of Rice Lake has announced the passing of their mayor, John Werner.

Here’s the statement from the city:

The City of Rice Lake is very saddened to announce that the Honorable Mayor John S. Werner passed away Saturday evening after a long battle with cancer. John was a lifelong resident of Rice Lake and has served his community in many ways over his lifetime, most recently as the First Mayor of the City of Rice Lake. He was a great leader and charged forward with the best interests of Rice Lake as his guide.”

His friend, John Marshall, called it an honor to be his friend. “He served in his marriage, his family. He served 41 years in the United States Army. He served in his church. He served in the honor guard. He served silently. My friend just epitomizes everything that I hold dear, dear. You know, I serve my God, my fellow man, my community. But John, he set a standard that I could never attain.”

The funeral will be held on Wednesday, April 5th at 11:00 am at St. John’s Church with a visitation April 4th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Dougherty Funeral Home and at 9:30 am prior to the funeral at St. John’s.

In lieu of flowers and cards, the family is asking that donations be made to the Rice Lake Veteran’s Memorial Park. John was spearheading a project to build a Veteran’s Memorial Park in Rice Lake, set to be completed this fall. Checks should be made payable to Duluth Honor Guard, memo: Rice Lake Memorial Park, 5814 Grand Ave., Duluth, MN 55807.

“So if people really want to honor John’s memory and legacy of the service that he’s he’s committed to all of us selflessly, please support this project. We’ve got enough money raised to pay for the sculpture itself, which is about $75,000,” Marshall said.

The city of Hermantown issued a statement on social media. “Our hearts go out to the City of Rice Lake, Minnesota, with the passing of Mayor John Werner. His dedication to Rice Lake, our neighboring community, was truly incredible. His leadership will be missed across the entire region. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and everyone in Rice Lake, at this time.”