Cover photo for John Mccauley's Obituary
John Mccauley Profile Photo

John Mccauley

June 27, 1953 — December 10, 2017

John Mccauley


John Joseph McCauley, 64, passed away at his home in Winona, Minnesota, on December 10, 2017.

He was born on June 27, 1953, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, to M.J. “Mac” and Margaret Lee McCauley. He graduated from Cotter High School, received a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1975, and served as a commissioned officer in the nuclear Navy submarine program.  After leaving the Navy, he continued his engineering work in Minneapolis and completed a Master’s Degree in Business at the University of Minnesota.

In 1991, John joined Peerless Chain Company in Winona, where he has been an important source of innovation and invention.  The number of world-wide patents listing John as an inventor does not fully capture the spectrum of innovation that John has contributed to Peerless Chain and to the global community. For example, before the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, John led Peerless Chain Company’s efforts to develop its capability to galvanize chain, which aided the efforts to limit the movement of large oil slicks in the Gulf and protect the environment. John was a brilliant engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur, but there’s so much more!

In 2003, John married the love of his life, Laura Dessin.  John and Laura spent many happy days together at their lake home with their dogs. This was a chance for them to relax and refresh away from their busy careers. John cared deeply about his family, his faith, the environment, and his country. He will be remembered as a beloved husband, son, brother, nephew, uncle, cousin and friend.

John is survived by his wife, Laura, his mother Margaret, sisters Janet McCauley, Debbie McCauley (Kevin Casserly), Colleen McCauley, Diane McCauley, and several nieces and nephews of whom he was very proud!  John is preceded in death by his father, M.J. “Mac” McCauley, infant sister, Catherine, nephew Paul, and mother-in-law Cecile Dessin.

Memorials are preferred to: Veterans Relief Services, American Legion Post 9, Winona Minnesota, or Winona Area Humane Society.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 1 PM on Friday, December 15, 2017, at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka.  The Mass will be concelebrated by John’s uncle, the Reverend Monsignor James McCauley, and the Reverend Monsignor Thomas J. Hargesheimer, with Deacon Justin Green assisting.

Following the Mass, the American Legion Leon J. Wetzel Post 9 of Winona, and Navy service members, will provide military honors outside of the Basilica.

John will be laid to rest in a private family ceremony at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Hokah, MN.

The recitation of the Most Holy Rosary will be held at 3:45 PM on Thursday, December 14, 2017, at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home, with visitation following the Rosary until 7 PM.  There will not be any visitation held on Friday, please meet at the Basilica for the Mass.

Online condolences or memories may be left for John’s family at

Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Mccauley, please visit our flower store.


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