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John E. Ries

Iowa City

John E. Ries, 77, of Iowa City, died peacefully Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in his home under the compassionate care of the Iowa City Hospice team. We are forever grateful for the loving care we received from Dr. Furqan and his team at the University of Iowa Cancer Clinic.
Funeral services will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 14, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Iowa City (Sunday parking ordinance will be in effect for streets near the church). Burial will follow at St. Stanislaus Cemetery near Hills. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in John's memory to Iowa City Hospice or the Regina Foundation. To share a thought, memory or condolence, please visit the funeral home website at www.gayandciha.com.
John Edward Ries was born March 25, 1941, on a snowy day in Burlington, Iowa. He spent his first three years in an orphanage, and was lovingly adopted by Edwin J. and Margaret Scanlon Ries and resided in Iowa City, Iowa.
He was a lifelong member of St. Mary's Catholic Church, was in the first graduating class at Regina High School and was a member of the First and Finest 59ers.
On Dec. 26, 1959, he was united in marriage to Carol Kral at St. Joseph's Church in Hills, Iowa. They were lifelong Iowa City residents, building their first and only home in 1962. John worked for 33 years at the University of Iowa in the physical plant as the "cool guy," and retired in 1999.
John had many passions and gifts in life. He enjoyed camping with the Palmer family, first in a tent and then in the "Johnabago," a renovated school bus. He rode a motorcycle from the young age of 16, and was fond of his many road trips with his bike buddies to Bike Week in Daytona, Sturgis, Newfoundland and Alaska. He supported the Iowa Hawkeyes, often traveling to the bowl games, and was a football season ticketholder for 50 years. Many memories were made on the Ries-Rogers trips, first with the kids and continuing as couples on spring break. On a perfect spring day with the redbuds blooming, you'd find him out mushroom hunting and enjoying those morels with a steak. We're pretty sure he could fix and over-engineer anything, if you had the time to wait.
And he loved his family most of all. John and Carol's family includes their children, Debbie Vahl and her husband, Jerry, of Clearwater, Fla., and their children, Macaela and Maddisen; Lynn Ludolph and her husband, Dan, of Peoria, Ill., and their children, Rashelle and Kelsie; and Jeff Ries of Iowa City and his children, Zachary, Adam, Emily and Reagan. He was very proud of his eight grandchildren. Also surviving are his in-laws, Jean and Larry Gritton of Manchester, Iowa, and their children, Theresa Kolbet (Matt) of Manchester and Pam Pasker (Marv) of North Liberty.
John was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Carol in 2006; and her parents, Melvin and Loretta Kral, who always treated him like a son.
John's bucket list the past three years was refilled several times. He now has checked off the final item on his list: road trip to heaven.
Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service is caring for John's family and his services.