Obituaries

John H. “Jack” Spitler

John H. “Jack” Spitler, 83 of Belmond passed away Friday, January 31, 2020 at his home in Belmond.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 10:30 AM at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 1207 3rd Street North East in Belmond. Burial will take place at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery in Belmond.

Visitation will be held on Monday, February 3, 2020 from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Belmond, and will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Tuesday.

John Harold “Jack” Spitler, Jr. was born June 24, 1936 to John Sr. and Marie (Christenson) Spitler in Belmond, Iowa. He was raised on a farm west of Belmond and attended country schools and graduated from Belmond High School with the Class of 1954.

Following graduation, Jack worked for Joe McLaughlin at Skelly Gas in Belmond for a time, hauled and shelled corn for Elmer Johnson and hauled livestock for Faye Withers. He also worked in the shop at Followwill Implement north of Belmond, all of this while farming, his lifelong passion. In addition to grain farming, he also raised cattle, dairy cows and hogs for a number of years.

Jack was united in marriage to Mary Ann Lager at St. John’s Catholic Church in Clarion on October 5, 1957. The couple made their home in rural Belmond, where they continued to farm until Jack retired in 1993 following a heart attack. He continued to help Paul and Missy with the family farming operation, and even rode in the combine this past harvest season. Jack and Mary Ann moved into town in 1996.

In addition to his life’s work, Jack loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren; whether at nap time on his lap, or in attending their various activities, they always referred to him as “Pa.” The family enjoyed many memorable camping trips to north east Iowa over the years, which included a number of trout fishing expeditions with Mary Ann while searching for unknown creeks off the beaten path. Jack and Mary Ann also spent several winters in Florida together.

Jack was a longtime member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Belmond, and mowed the church cemetery for several years, a labor of love and a source of great pride.

Jack is lovingly remembered for his kind and selfless heart, along with a dash of ornery teasing and the twinkle in his eye.

Jack is survived by his wife, Mary Ann of Belmond; children Patricia (Mark) Fisher of Clarion, Marcia Ketchum of Belmond and Paul (Missy) Spitler of rural Belmond; grandchildren Christian (Mandy) Fisher and their son, Thayden; Erik (Emily) Fisher and their children Ian, Adeline, Quinn, Tate and Tegan; Nikki (Matt) Olson and their children Lilly and Noah; Mark (Katie) Ketchum and their children Cooper and Charli Ketchum and Kylie and Emma Cox; Hunter Hiscocks; Jayden Spitler, Katelyn Spitler and Sydney (Court) Christianson.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents, John and Marie Spitler, a baby sister in infancy, his grandchildren Dusty Spitler and Afton Spitler, his parents-in-law John and Esther Lager, and son-in-law Kevin Ketchum.

In lieu of customary remembrances, Jack’s family suggests that memorial donations be directed to the Belmond-Klemme Scholarship Foundation II, and sent to P.O. Box 301 in Belmond, 50421.

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