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John T. Lien

March 5, 1954 — May 14, 2024

Chippewa Falls

John T. Lien

"John was a nice person, a good person, such a sweet man." - Marsha (Lien) Flannery

John T. Lien, 70, of Chippewa Falls, passed away at home on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, with his wife and family at his side. 

He was born March 5, 1954, in Madison to Theodore and Lora (Cunningham) Lien. The family moved to Chippewa Falls about 1959, and the happiest days of his childhood centered around Stillson School and Lake Wissota. After his freshman year at Chippewa Falls High School, the family moved to Wisconsin Rapids, where John was a National Honor Society Member and Lincoln High School Graduate, Class of 1972.

In 1976, UW Madison awarded John his Bachelor of Science degree with honors.  As an Electrical and Computer Engineer, his career took him to New York, where he worked for IBM Corp. in Kingston; to California, where he worked for IBM Corp. in San Jose and start-up ELXSI International in Sunnyvale; and back to Chippewa Falls, where he joined Cray Research/Silicon Graphics. While in California, John also did graduate work at Stanford University.

A proud Norwegian, John twice traveled to Norway and twice skied the American Birkebeiner. Summers were spent windsurfing and sailing on his beloved Lake Wissota; winters were spent downhill or cross-country skiing. When not working, he often was collecting, designing and building electronics, or writing open-source software. His bar code scanning software is still in use today. 

But John's greatest pleasure in life was spending time with family, and he was loved dearly by each and every one of them.

On October 7, 2023, after 25 years together, John and Katherine (Schulz) were married in a joyous ceremony in Weston, WI. The wedding took place at the nursing home where John's mother lives and she was able to attend in person. Together they enjoyed sailing, kayaking, skiing, camping and biking. 

In addition to his mother and his wife, John also is survived by his brother Hans (Inge) Lien of Nekoosa, WI; sister Valerie (Eric) Fromm of Eau Claire, WI; sister Tracey (Jahn) Sandman of Wausau, WI; niece Melissa (Thomas) Reichert of Punta Gorda, FL; niece Amanda Lien of Wisconsin Rapids, WI; nephew Brad (Cathleen) Bittner of Studio City, CA; nephew Ben (Jennifer) Fromm of Happy Valley, OR; nephew Evan Fromm of Wausau, WI; niece Kelly (Chris) Sinutko of Waunakee, WI; niece Alison (Alex) Dunnum of Norfolk, VA; niece Crystal Sandman (Josh Kuester) of Evanston, IL; cousins, nieces and nephews once and twice removed, and many more family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his father Theodore, sister Lorna (Tom) Birmingham and infant nephew David Bittner.

A celebration of John's life will take place on Thursday, July 25 at The View on Lake Wissota, Chippewa Falls. Visitation will be from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm, with a buffet luncheon from 12 pm - 2 pm. A Memorial Service will follow from 2 pm - 3 pm. Please join for all, or part of, the celebration. 

Memorials in John’s name may be made to Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Chippewa Falls. 



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Visitation

Thursday, July 25, 2024

11:30am - 1:30 pm (Central time)

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Thursday, July 25, 2024

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Thursday, July 25, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

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