John F. Wismer
Year Inducted: 1982
An enthusiastic, dedicated, often vocal community leader, John has left his mark on Port Huron in many ways.
He brought the Flags Hockey team to Port Huron in 1962 and their presence in Port Huron for 20 years spread the name and fame of our city throughout the mid-west and the hockey cities of the U.S. and Canada.
As owner of station WHLS (he came to the station in 1947, became General Manager in 1950 and owner in 1952). John actively promoted high school athletics at Port Huron High, St. Stephen, and Junior College, often doing play-by-play coverage of games himself, both at home and away. WHLS vigorously supported and promoted the Flags during their Port Huron years and the station thoroughly covered bowling, softball, sailing, swimming, and Silver Stick action on a regular basis.
Born and raised in Port Huron, John graduated with the Big Reds of 1931, playing football, basketball, after learning fundamentals with the strong Washington Junior High teams. He played a year of football and basketball at Port Huron J.C. before entering the University of Michigan, where he played on the varsity basketball team until he quit the team to go to work. He subsequently attended Michigan State but lack of funds forced him out of college and a return to Port Huron and a job in the Albert Falk funeral home. He moved on to the confection business for a time and spent most of WWII as head of the Bomber Cost Division of the Ford Motor Company. After the war he sold clothes for Harry Suffrin in Detroit and life insurance in Port Huron before joining WHLS in 1947.
John soon became a leader in community affairs and his name often became linked with United Fund drives, hospital administration, school promotions and a variety of civic functions too numerous to mention.
Hockey, and the Flags, became a working hobby for him, and he never says the Flags were “the greatest advertising vehicle the city of Port Huron ever had. There is not enough money available to pay for the advertising the Flags gave Port Huron.”
An avid, positive, realistic Port Huron booster, John follows his brother Harry, into the Port Huron Sports Hall of Fame.