OTTUMWA — John James Wasko, 88, of 1018 W. Mary St., died at 10:30 p.m. November 28, 2013, at Ottumwa Regional Health Center.
He was born January 18, 1925, at Hocking in Monroe County, Iowa, to John and Helen Hanis Wasko. He married Ethel Shadduck on May 29, 1951, at St. Mary’s Church in Albia. She preceded him in death on September 16, 2003.
A resident of Ottumwa since 1947, he worked for John Morrell & Co. for a few weeks before being hired at John Deere Ottumwa Works, where he worked for 37 years, retiring in 1982.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1952 during the Korean War and was honorably discharged as Staff Sergeant.
He was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus Council #888, Local #74 UAW Retirees and O.B. Nelson Post #3 American Legion.
Surviving are his three children, Christine Wasko of Ottumwa, Jeane (Terry) Gruwell of Ottumwa, David (Robin) Wasko of St. Petersburg, Fla.; six grandchildren, Jeni (Jason) Dicks, Jami Gruwell, Josh Wasko, John David (Ciji) Wasko, Shana Wasko and Andy Patrick; six great-grandchildren, Brandon, Jonathan, Emily, Zoie, Savannah and Olivia; a brother, Charles (Mary Beth) Wasko of Ottumwa and a sister, Margaret Kurimski of Knoxville.
He was preceded in death by three sons, Ronald J., Johnny Ray and Daniel L.; his parents; and two brothers, Albert and Leonard.
John devoted his life to God, his family and anyone who needed help. He believed that charity was the most important virtue and lived by that his whole life. He enjoyed traveling and spending time with his family, especially his great-grandchildren.
Funeral Mass will be 9 a.m. Tuesday at St. Patrick Catholic Church with Father Patrick Hilgendorf presiding. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery with military services conducted by O.B. Nelson Post #3 American Legion and Walter B. Schafer Post #775 Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Visitation begins at 10 a.m. Monday at Reece Funeral Home with the family present from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday. A Christian Wake service will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Patrick Catholic Church.