MADISON- Our family lost a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend on May 13, 2010. Jack Styles Kammer passed away at HospiceCare Center surrounded by his family. His legacy of love and laughter will be treasured always. Jack was born on April 29, 1927 in Madison, the son of John Kammer and Verna Adank. His mother died when he was two, and then he lived four years with his wonderful, loving foster parents "Mama" and Charlie Styles. He graduated from Madison West High School in 1944 and then served two years in the United States Navy after which he returned to Madison to attend the University of Wisconsin. He then went on to graduate from Marquette University School of Dentistry in 1953.
Jack was a member of his high school track team and continued in track and cross country at the UW where he was a six time letter winner in those sports. His two mile relay team was nationally ranked and his Badger cross country team won the Big Ten championship two consecutive years.
last summer. Lois especially appreciated Jack's ability to make her laugh and this was a regular joyful occurrence at the family dinner table.
After his college days he stayed involved with the UW track team and regularly officiated at their meets. He was an ardent Badger booster of all sports and he went on to become president of the National W Club. He was a fierce competitor at 3rd base in fast pitch softball which he played every summer until his mid 60's. He was an enthusiastic fan of all sports and Jack especially enjoyed cheering for the Packers and the Brewers.
He developed an appreciation for enhancing smiles after he had his own teeth knocked out in a boxing match and then replaced. That incident, combined with his love of art, and his compassion for people, led him to a career in dentistry where he especially enjoyed giving his patients great looking smiles. When Dr. Jack wanted to share this new area of dentistry with other dentists, he founded the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and served as its president for the first three years. The AACD became the world's largest organization of cosmetic dentists and has had over 10,000 members from all over the globe who have gone on to improve the lives of countless thousands of patients. Dr. Jack along with numerous AACD members have donated smile makeovers to hundreds of abuse victims through their Give Back a Smile program.
Dr. Jack enjoyed caring for the dental needs of his patients for over 50 years at J. S. Kammer and Associates and the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry. His devotion to his craft and his love for people won him a loyal following. His skill for cosmetic dentistry earned him a 1st place finish in one of the first international cosmetic dental results competitions. Last year he received the Hall of Fame Award from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
Local residents may best remember him as the guy who lights up the University Avenue Holiday Lights year after year. This cherished institution began when he generously planted 228 Arborvitae trees along the Doctor's Park railroad tracks. Once they were tall enough, he decorated them with colorful lights as a gift for all of Madison to enjoy. He also wrote a book called The Story of the University Avenue Holiday Lights which chronicles the background of this heartwarming display and also helps to keep them going year after year.
He loved all music styles and for several years he was a member of the Cardinals, a barbershop quartet that performed all over the country. He acted in many Madison Theater Guild productions and especially enjoyed portraying Fagin in "Oliver". He enjoyed growing plants year-round and feeding and watching the variety of birds that flocked to their backyard. He also managed to maintain many large fish tanks at his dental office. His specialty in the kitchen was his famous chili and he loved sharing it with many friends.. He enjoyed hanging out at Henry's Restaurant in its day and more recently he would take an occasional trip to Ho-Chunk.
He was a devoted father to his children. He was Barbara's singing duet partner, Chris' dental mentor, Julie's middle school softball coach and Steve's go-kart racing partner.
In death he joins his parents, his sister Lenore and brother Marvin. Left to honor his memory and remember his love are his wife of 60 years, Lois, his children Barbara, Christian, Julie, and Steven, his grandchildren Holly, Erika, Annabelle, Maria, Adam and Eli, his brothers Tom and Jim, and his sister Lou, and his treasured son in law Kent Brown. Together Jack and his wife Lois built a life around their family with caring love and joy for over 60 years.
Our special memories of our husband, father, and grandfather include his love and care for all people. He would reach out to the disadvantaged in life changing ways. Of course there was his ever constant sense of humor which kept his friends and family always laughing.
He was the family's rock (and he said that Lois, his wife, was his Rockette) and we have all been blessed by God to have been the recipients of the miracle of having him in our lives. Our prayer is that we may pass on to others all the love, kindness, and generosity that he has shown us. We love you Dadso!
"No time on earth is long enough to share with those we love or to prepare our hearts for good-bye."
Funeral services will be held at MIDVALE COMMUNITY LUTHERAN CHURCH, 4329 Tokay Blvd., at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 20, 2010. Friends may call from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road.
His family suggests that memorials in his honor include: The University Avenue Holiday Lights Fund c/o M & I Bank, 401 N. Segoe Road, Madison, WI, 53705-3106 and the Don and Marilyn Anderson HospiceCare Center, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI, 53711, and The Dane County Humane Society, 5132 Voges Road, Madison, WI, 53718, and Midvale Community Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd., Madison, WI, 53711.