John C. Howes

January 8, 1940 ~ June 22, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old


John Conroy "JC" Howes, Sr. played many roles...Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Friend, Leader, Learner/Teacher, Storyteller, and Traveler.  He peacefully passed from this world on June 22, 2023.  

Born on January 8, 1940, in Spencer, IA, John lived in various places in IA before arriving in DeWitt, IA when he was 6 years old.  His childhood years were spent roaming with friends and swimming at Crystal Lake.  He was a DeWitt resident most of his life, before living in Davenport, IA his last 15 years.  

John was preceded in death by his beloved parents, George Sr, and Margaret Howes, and John and Rita's first child, Phillip Luke.  

JC is survived by his wife, Rita, of Davenport, IA; three children, John and his wife Tori, of Bend, OR; Mike of West Des Moines, IA; Bill of Chariton, IA; four grandchildren, Rook, Audrey, Matthew, and Ryan, of Bend, OR; and of course, grand dog Hank of Des Moines; his brother George and Sister-in-Law Bonnie of DeWitt, IA, and many nieces and nephews.  

Husband:  John met Rita Domsalla on a magical dock 65 years ago.  Married in Clinton on September 29, 1962, they spent 60 years of marriage together, in love as a married couple, and as best friends.  

Father:  An amazing father, John supported his boys in many ways, through everything, always educating them along the way.  He masterfully juggled work while also attending approximately a thousand kid sporting events.  

Grandfather:  Although proud of his three sons, the grandkids (and dog) brought him such joy and pride.  Both funny and fun, JC brought smiles and giggles to them throughout their lives.  

Big Brother:  John was a great big brother in two ways.  First, he loved and respected his younger brother George.  They lived geographically close most of their lives, and had many, many discussions about a range of topics, but always aligned politically.  Second, JC was extremely active in Big Brothers/Sisters of the Quad Cities.  In this aspect of his life, he acted as a "Big" to many "Littles" and served on the Board of Directors.  He was honored by the state of Iowa for his work with this important organization.  

Friend:  JC was lucky to be a friend to many, and they were lucky in return.  He was a great listener, enjoyed conversation and debate, always had strong opinions, was rarely wrong in his own mind, and had friends aged 9 to 98.  He was a friend to his kids' friends, acting as an Uber driver before that term existed, often picking up a dozen kids for school, piling them up four layers deep into various vehicles (Trans AM, Range Rover, silver Lincoln Towncar) he owned.  Again, fun and funny, he introduced us all to important people such as Dr. Demento and George Carlin, and spent years riding his motorcycle. 

Learner/Teacher:  John had an extreme thirst for knowledge and a natural desire to share knowledge with others.  After graduating from DeWitt Central High School in 1958, John spent his college years at Iowa State and St Thomas Universities, where he enjoyed himself both socially and academically.  Following that, he received his C.P.C.U. (Certified Property and Casualty Underwriter) degree in 1966.  His emphasis on the importance of education directly led his three children to obtain multiple degrees between them.  As a lifelong learner, he was extremely well read, both in terms of quantity (thousands of books in his lifetime) and an eclectic range of topic areas.  As a giver of knowledge, he taught in numerous classrooms, in the workplace, volunteered at Boys and Girls Club and Junior Achievement as a mentor, and with youth at St Joe's Catholic Church in DeWitt.  

Leader:  Besides his community and youth leadership, John had a wonderful career as a leader at Iowa Mutual Insurance Company.  Starting in 1961 as an adjuster, he rose through the organization to eventually retire in 2001 as a Senior Vice President.  He was way ahead of his time, using and building computers, CB radios, and acting as his family's and friend's IT department.  

Storyteller/Traveler:  Combining his love of travel and talking, JC enjoyed learning and conversing about other cultures.  He had a special affinity for China, visiting twice, while also traveling to Canada, and various parts of the U.S.  

A private service will occur in July for family to reminisce and pay their respects.  In lieu of flowers, John would appreciate any donations to Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or any organization that helps improve the lives of children.  Thank you.  

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Private Services

Elmwood Cemetery DeWitt


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