The legendary track coach John Melvin Raffensperger, 78, of Iowa City, ran his final lap on Monday, April 22, 2019, at his home surrounded by family. Visitation will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at City High School main gymnasium. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 29, at First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City. Burial will be at Memory Gardens Cemetery, Iowa City. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to ICCSD Foundation for the John Raffensperger Scholarship or the University of Iowa Foundation; Track and Field.
John was born July 13, 1940, in Waterloo, Iowa, the son of Leonard and Leone (Wiggins) Raffensperger. He graduated from State College of Iowa with his B.A. and Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., with his M.A. John was united in marriage to Sharon McMurry on June 15, 1963, in Jefferson. For more than 35 years, John was a teacher and track coach at City High School, retiring in 2003. He was past president of the Track Coaches Association of Iowa, honorary member of the University of Iowa Varsity Club, Iowa Track Coaches Hall of Fame, University of Northern Iowa Hall of Fame, City High Hall of Fame, nine-time winner of the state of Iowa Coach of the Year and national Coach of the Year in 2000. John authored "It's a great day to be a Little Hawk" about the history of City High's athletics. He was a member and elder at First Presbyterian Church. John also served on the foster care review board and Johnson County Historical society board. He was an ambassador at the University of Iowa Hall of Fame.
John is survived by his wife of 55 years, Sharon Raffensperger; his two sons, Michael Raffensperger of Iowa City and David Raffensperger (Kristina Yeigh) of Solon; his five grandchildren, Devin, Shay and Jackson Raffensperger and Kristina's sons, Hogan and Brighton; and brother and sisters-in-law, Janet Raffensperger of Corvallis, Ore., and Ted and Barbara McMurry of Edmond, Okla.
John was preceded in death by his parents; and three siblings, Marcia Schellenberg, Gene and Paul Raffensperger.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.lensingfuneral.com.