John Stoltzfus, 73, of Goshen and formerly of Iowa City, Iowa, died Thursday morning, July 17, 2014, at Courtyard Healthcare.
John Stoltzfus Jr. was born January 8, 1941 in Wellman, Iowa to John and Laura (Beckler) Stoltzfus. Known as “Junior” to friends and family, John was the youngest of seven children. He had three brothers; Sterling, Einer, and Richard, and three sisters; Elvira, Verl, and Grace. There were also two sisters who died in infancy, Donna, and Darlene.
John grew up on the family farm outside Wellman and attended Pilotburg Elementary and Wellman Mennonite Church, where he was baptized in 1954. He graduated from Iowa Mennonite School in 1959. After high school he worked as an orderly at the University of Iowa Hospital, and continued his courtship with Colleen Rhodes of Kalona.
John and Colleen were married June 30, 1962 at East Union Mennonite Church, and in October they moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where John worked with medical records at the IU Medical Center as part of the Selective Service 1W program.
After two years in Indianapolis, John and Colleen moved back to Kalona and in 1965 John took a job as a technician at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. He eventually became the supervisor of the pharmaceutical manufacturing area, a position he held until his retirement in 2000.
John and Colleen had two children, Tonya Renee , born in 1967 and John Chadwick (Chad) in 1970. In 1970, they built a house outside Iowa City on Sharon Center Road, where they lived until 2007, when they moved to Goshen, Indiana to be near their children and six grandchildren: Preston and Peyton Miller of Goshen; Ariana, Carter, Clayton, and Mariah Stoltzfus of Goshen.
Throughout John’s life he was very active in the community. He served as Vice President for the Kalona Jaycees. At East Union he was a Sunday School teacher, MYF sponsor, and was involved with Mennonite Disaster Service.
John had a passion for sports and instilled that love in his own children. He coached both his children in baseball and softball at the Little League and Babe Ruth levels in Iowa City, and was an avid supporter of all their teams at Iowa City West High and Iowa Mennonite School.
John had a special love for the Iowa Hawkeyes. He did not miss a single home football game and was also a basketball season ticket holder for over 40 years. John and his family also attended two Rose Bowls, the Outback Bowl, the Peach Bowl, the Gator Bowl and Final Fours for both men's and women’s basketball.
Another passion that John had was dogs. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, John operated the Proudfoot Kennels from his home, which specialized in Siberian Huskies and white German Shepherds.
John was also an avid bicycle rider and many family vacations revolved around bike rides. In 1990 John and Colleen participated in RAGBRAI, a seven day bike ride across the state of Iowa.
In 1991 John was diagnosed with Fahr’s Disease, a condition that affects balance, and eventually takes away the ability to walk, talk, and move. John battled the disease with the same passion that he cheered for the Hawkeyes. With Colleen's support, he refused to let the disease keep him from doing the things he loved. He went to countless games and activities to cheer on his grandkids, and continued to travel to places like Hawaii, Alaska, and Acapulco, Mexico.
On Thursday morning, July 17, 2014 John finally succumbed to the effects of his disease, but not before leaving memories of his loving devotion, and his unending sense of humor to those who knew him.
Friends may call 2 to 5 p.m., Saturday, July 19, 2014 at Silverwood Mennonite Church where a 7 p.m., funeral service will be conducted. Pastors Ron Guengerich and Rachel Nolt will officiate.
In Iowa, friends may call 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, July 21, 2014 at East Union Mennonite Church, Kalona.
Burial will be in East Union Cemetery, Kalona at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, July 22, 2014.
A 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, July 22, 2014 memorial service will be conducted at East Union Mennonite Church, Kalona
Memorial contributions may be given to Silverwood Mennonite Church or Iowa Mennonite School.