John Donald Hegarty, 88, a resident of The Meth-Wick Community, entered heaven at sunrise on March 2, 2018. Memorial service: 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 7, at New Covenant Bible Church, Cedar Rapids. A visitation will be held from 3 to 7 pm on Tuesday, March 6, at Cedar Memorial Funeral Home.
John was born July 20, 1929, on the family farm near Red Oak Park, south of Stanwood. He excelled as a student and loved playing basketball and baseball for Lincoln High School. At age 18, he began a long career in education teaching first through eighth grade in a one-room schoolhouse near Springdale, while attending summer school at Iowa State Teachers College. In 1949, he received Jesus Christ as his personal savior and enrolled at Prairie Bible Institute in Alberta, Canada. Upon graduation in 1954, he married Gertrude Lentz and returned to ISTC to finish his degree in education. Moving to Cedar Rapids, he taught at the Cedar Rapids Christian School, then Harrison Elementary before earning his administrative degree at the University of Iowa. He is best remembered as principal at Madison, Truman and Cleveland elementary schools. Throughout his years in public education, he also faithfully performed the duties of an ordained minister, filling vacant pulpits and officiating hundreds of marriage and funeral services.
John retired from education in 1993, but continued his ministry pastoring the Church at Covington until 2001. He enjoyed golfing, creating word puzzles, reading and most of all writing notes of encouragement to friends and family. Winters spent in Gulf Shores, Ala., provided wonderful memories for John and Trudy.
John never missed an opportunity to show his appreciation to those around him and make their day better. He was quick to smile, an endless source of encouragement, a lover of learning and had an endearing passion for people friends and strangers alike. Most importantly, John possessed a deep faith that guided his life. He truly lived his life in anticipation of the day he would meet Christ. He was a man of prayer and dedicated to "doing God's work for your time" his motto. He was a born-again believer whose greatest desire was to glorify God with his life. He was a constant source of light who saw the good in everyone, treating them with compassion and respect. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and fun, faithful friend. He will be greatly missed.
John is survived by his devoted wife of 63 years, Gertrude "Trudy" M. Hegarty; a son, John Jr. (Kay) Hegarty, Swisher; and two daughters, Elizabeth (Dave) Posekany, Cedar Rapids, and Jennifer (Brad) Hoeppner, Atkins; four grandchildren, Alyssa and Shelby Hoeppner and Lindsey and Dawson Posekany.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Frances Hegarty; sisters, Winifred Becker and Mary Riedel; and a brother Donald Hegarty Jr.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in John's honor.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under Obituaries.