Mar 21

Long time Apartment Association member and founder of J & J Rentals and Construction, LLC John Chitko passed away Sunday morning.

In everyone’s life there are just a handful of people who make the greatest impact.  John was one of those people in my life.

The son of Polish immigrants, he quit school at a very young age to help run his family’s farm in northern WI after his father passed away.  Despite a start in life that would have held many back, John became one the largest Southside landlords.  Yet he remained humble and frugal.  I do not believe that he ever owned a new car.

I met John shortly after I became a full time landlord in 1981.  He invited me to join him and a group of Southside landlords that met for lunch every day at Paul’s restaurant on 16th and Greenfield.

John was a huge influence on my life.  Seeing what he was able to  accomplish gave me the vision to grow my business. He was there to offer advice when I got into situations where I did not know what to do next.

John’s prodding me to join the Association changed my life probably more than anything single other thing.  When I visited a meeting and told him the Association didn’t seem to be a match for me and my business he challenged me by saying  ‘This is an all volunteer group. Join, put your ideas out there. If they have merit people will support them, if not you’ll learn something’

Taking John’s challenge and becoming actively involved with the Association and then the board taught me so much and propelled my business far beyond were it would have been otherwise.

John was a good, honest person whom I am glad to have known.

He is survived by his wife and four sons.  Many of you may know the eldest son, Jeff, who has run the family’s rental business for many years now.


The viewing of will be on Thursday, March 24 from 9:30 – 11:55 am at Prasser Kleczka Funeral Home. Service will start at 12 Noon.

Cemetery service will take place at the Veterans grounds in Union Grove. Driving instructions will be provided at the funeral home.


Prasser Kleczka Funeral Home 6080 S. 27 St, Milwaukee, WI 53221-4805  Phone 414-282-6080

WI Veterans Memorial Cemeteries -Union Grove (further instructions will be given after the service)

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