John C. Heath
Join us in celebrating John—please share your stories and photos, and help spread the word about this page!
John C. Heath, 84, of Bettendorf, IA, passed away Monday, November 27, 2023. John spent his childhood in Dallas, Texas and graduated from Hilcrest High School. He attended college at Iowa State University, his favorite campus, on an ROTC scholarship, where he was an active member of his fraternity Phi Delta Theta. Following graduation, John married his college sweetheart and began life, living in various cities, as well as at sea as a lieutenant in the US Navy aboard the USS Meadowlark. Following his time in the Navy, John continued his education and earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Business. He established his career as a businessman in the Midwest as a treasurer in the meatpacking industry. He and his wife Judy eventually settled in Geneseo, Illinois where they raised their family and became active members of the community. In 1978, John made a life pivot with a major decision to pursue treatment for alcoholism. This decision resulted not only in 45 years of sobriety, but a desire to help others on that same journey. He returned to school and graduated with a degree in counseling and began a long second career in the addiction recovery field. This became his passion and John felt he had found his calling in life. Never one to sit still, in his retirement years John found himself regularly hanging out with preschoolers, tourists, and rock stars in his role as a tour guide at the John Deere Museum in Moline, IL. To know John was to know what he loved; sports, people, and talking sports with people. He was a lifelong Red Sox fan, a die-hard Cyclone fan, and lover of all local sports, college sports, and beyond. As his family spread into multiple states, it was guaranteed after a spectacular play, or notable win, within minutes the phone would ring with John calling to discuss and celebrate. His love of the game and passion for his teams were so contagious that it carried to each of his 3 children, and down to his grandson, who not only who followed his footsteps to Iowa State (Deb, Mike and grandson Nick) but carry on his crazy obsession with the Boston Red Sox. John's most passionate sports buddy was his oldest son Chris, who he talked sports with multiple times each day until his unfortunate passing 7 year ago. John was deeply proud of those he had come to love, and believed that his people were the best of the best, with friends spanning childhood to college, and everywhere he lived thereafter. His dear friend and pastor, Peter Marty, his longtime friend Christina Woodard, and most of all his 3 children, his son-in-law Tim, and his incredible grandchildren, were all sources of deep pride and deep admiration. Visitation was held on Friday, December 1, from 5-7pm at St. Paul Lutheran Church. A memorial service was held at 10am on Saturday, December 2, at St. Paul Lutheran Church. He was laid to rest alongside his beloved son, Chris Heath in Oakwood Cemetery, Geneseo, IL. Memorials may be made in his honor to Seattle Angels (www.seattleangels.org.) which is a nonprofit organization that helps support fostering families and was founded by his daughter, Deborah Christian. Online condolences may be expressed at www.rungemortuary.com. Those left to cherish his memory include his children, Deborah (Tim) Christian and Mike Heath; grandchildren, Nick, Natalie, and Erin; bonus grandchild, Shiloh Sullivan; loving companion, Christina Woodard; brother, Jim Heath; nephew, Craig; and nieces, Kristy and Jeanie. He was preceded in death by his parents, and son Chris.