Wausau Pilot & Review

Flags of the U.S. and Wisconsin are to be flown at half-staff Monday in honor of Lt. Col. John A. Palese, Jr., of West Bend, according to a news release from Gov. Tony Evers.

Palese, a police captain, lost his life in the line of duty after contracting COVID-19. 

Palese died on Oct. 17, 2021, at 66, after contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty. He served in the United States Air Force, United States Air Force Reserve, the 128th Aerial Refueling Wing of the Wisconsin Air National Guard, and in the Persian Gulf War.

Palese also served as an American Airlines pilot, line check airman, federal flight deck officer, and as an aviation instructor.

After retiring from American Airlines and the Wisconsin Air National Guard, Palese became a law enforcement officer, serving his community most recently as administrative captain for the Town of Hartford Police Department. 

Interment with military honors will be held on Mon., Nov. 15, 2021, in Union Grove. 

“The news of John’s passing is deeply tragic, and Kathy and I extend our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues, and everyone who knew him,” said Gov. Evers. “We are thinking of them as they mourn John’s passing and honor his memory.”

Executive Order #140 will be in effect from sunrise to sunset on Mon., Nov. 15, 2021, and is available here.