John Mattew Geerdes
John Matthew Geerdes, 18, arrived at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City the day before Easter on April 14, 2001. John attended Regina Catholic Elementary, Northwest Junior High and was a 2019 graduate of Iowa City High School, where he played soccer for four years and also participated in mock trial, student senate, bowling, Business Professionals of America, cross country and swimming. While in student senate, he and his great friend Eli Anderson had a fun run for leadership roles before being defeated by two other outstanding friendly opponents. Regrettably, the hundreds of cookies they baked for voters did not bring them success. They were also voted by their City High classmates the Senior Superlative "Most Likely to Talk Their Way Out of Trouble." John said he enjoyed high school and would not mind doing it again.
John was an avid hardworking soccer player and thoroughly enjoyed practicing and playing many years with the Iowa Soccer Club and for Iowa City High, including three years on City High's varsity soccer team. He was enrolled in college as a humanities major and intended to focus on computer and software programming. He enjoyed reading, history and building and working on computers. He had an intense curiosity about life and as a child asked a lot of questions. As a fifth grader, John traveled to Turkey with his mother and was delighted to ride a camel in Cappadocia and travel to Troy. He also enjoyed many trips to the family cabin on Hilowjack Island on Lake of the Woods in Sioux Narrows, Ontario, including one this past summer with six of his high school friends and another with family. In John, his father found a great helper to work on the cabin. He enjoyed paddle boarding and swimming with his siblings, cousins and friends and driving the boat. John was extremely competent and smart and always willing to work around the house. John had an independent nature and good sense of direction, which led him into more than a few adventures.
John most recently worked as one of the head lifeguards at Iowa City's pools, where he had a great time working with his friends and teaching swimming lessons. He had previously worked as a soccer referee.
John was tragically killed in a bus accident while on a University of Victoria biology field trip to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre on Vancouver Island in British Columbia on Sept. 13, 2019.
He was predeceased by his grandparents Jonas and Edith (Bolhuis) Geerdes and Patrick and Sheila (Neu) Murphy; and a stepgrandmother, Mary (Blade Fisher) Murphy.
We will remember our much loved John as a big guy with an even larger heart and easy grin who loved people, and people in turn loved him. "He made everything fun." John was kind, had an orderly room and mind, and a unique ability to prioritize what is important in life.
John, the third of five children, is survived by his parents, Mary Michele Murphy and Gregg Alan Geerdes, and four siblings, Jonas, James ("Jim"), Katherine and Jude Geerdes. John also is survived by aunts and uncles, Bradley ("Brad") and Sherry Geerdes, Thomas ("Tom") and Jocelyne Murphy, Daniel ("Dan") and Casey Murphy, Michael ("Mike") Murphy, Andrew Fisher and Erica Fisher, along with many cousins. He is additionally survived by his family's beloved dogs, Andy and Clay, and a very large circle of amazing friends.
We are heartbroken John is no longer with us on this earth, and we wish to thank our family, friends and John's coaches and the soccer and Iowa City communities for their tremendous outpouring of support and love.
We invite everyone to attend John's visitation from
4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Park Lodge at Terry Trueblood, with a time to share at 7:30 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Iowa City, with a luncheon to follow. Graveside services will be Friday at 4 p.m. in Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Iowa Soccer Club Financial Assistance Fund or the John Geerdes Memorial Swim Lessons Fund (in care of MidWestOne Bank).
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.lensingfuneral.com.