With great sadness the family of John Wasson, 80, announces his passing on Aug. 5, 2016, after a valiant struggle with cancer. A celebration of his life will be held at First Lutheran Church on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 11 a.m. A visitation will be held at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home on Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 5 to 8 p.m.
John Stanley Wasson was born July 20, 1936, in Decatur, Ill., to Van and Cora Wasson. He graduated from Decatur High School in 1954 and from Millikin University in 1958. He later earned an M.B.A. from the University of Iowa in 1979.
On July 29, 1967, John married Alice Kerch. In 1969, John's employment brought them to Cedar Rapids. John's professional career of 40 years at Deere & Co. and Iowa Illinois Gas & Electric included engineering, management and marketing.
Serving his community was very important to John. He was an active member of several business and professional organizations, including the Iowa Engineering Society, Midwest Gas Association, Association of Facilities Engineers and the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce. He also was active in many nonprofits, including the Thursday Noon Optimist Club (over 45 years), Junior Achievement and Theatre Cedar Rapids. For the last few years he also volunteered weekly as an English tutor at the Catherine McCauley Center.
In recognition of his volunteer service, John was selected to carry the Olympic torch as it came through Cedar Rapids for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.
Music was an integral part of John's life. He enjoyed singing and performing in musical groups, including the Handel Oratorical Society of Augustana College, the Quad Cities Music Guild, Theatre Cedar Rapids, 10 Cedar Rapids Follies productions, the Cedar Rapids Concert Chorale, Chorale Midwest and church choir.
John was a longtime member of First Lutheran Church. He served on church council, many committees, was an active Stephen Minister for the last 15 years, and sang in the adult and contemporary choirs.
John loved outdoor activities. He golfed daily (post retirement), rollerbladed, and was an avid runner who ran three marathons. Together, he and Alice ran over 30 Bix 7's and numerous 5 and 10K road races. He loved downhill skiing with his family. Also, he and Alice cross country skied, snowshoed and biked bike trails across the Midwest and Colorado.
After John's retirement, he and Alice traveled to many intriguing places around the world and became avid ballroom and Latin dancers.
John is survived by his wife, Alice; son, Kent (and wife Brenda) of Hong Kong; daughter, Kristi (and husband Matthew) of Erie, Colo.; and grandsons, Kyle and Kieran Wasson. Also surviving is his brother, Robert (and wife Rose) of Whitehall, Pa.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Van; and sisters, Jane Darling and Dorothy Hiser.
Memorials may be given to First Lutheran Church, Thursday Noon Optimist Club, Junior Achievement or Kids First.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.
Posted on Monday, 8 August 2016