John Ries

John E. Ries

1941 - 2018

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Obituary of John Ries

John E. Ries, 77, of Iowa City, died peacefully Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in his home under the compassionate care of the IC 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 9am Saturday, April 14, 2018, 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 the St. Stanislaus Cemetery near Hills.  Visitation will be from 4 to 7pm 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 Regina Foundation.  To share a thought, memory or condolence please visit the funeral home website @

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, IA.

He was a life-long member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and was in the first graduating class at Regina High School and a member of the First and Finest 59ers.

On December 26, 1959 he was united in marriage to Carol Kral at St. Joseph’s Church in Hills, IA. They were life-long 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; 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 is 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 ticket holder for 50 years.  Many memories were made on the Ries-Rogers trips, first with the kids and continued as couples on Spring Break. On a perfect spring day with the redbuds blooming, you’d find him out mushroom hunting and enjoying those morelles 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 & Carol’s family incudes their children, Debbie Vahl and her husband Jerry of Clearwater, FL, and their children, Macaela and Maddisen; Lynn Ludolph and her husband Dan of Peoria, IL and their children Rashelle and Kelsie; and Jeff Ries of Iowa City and his children Zachary, Adam, Emily and Reagan. He is very proud of his 8 grandchildren.  Also sister-in-law Jean and Larry Gritton of Manchester, IA and their children Theresa Kolbet (Matt) of Manchester and Pam Pasker (Marv) of North Liberty, IA.

John was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Carol in 2006 along with her parents Melvin & Loretta Kral, who always treated him like a son.

John’s bucket list the past 3 years was refilled several times.  He has now 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.






4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, April 13, 2018
Gay & Ciha Funeral And Cremation Service
2720 Muscatine Ave.
Iowa City, Iowa, United States

Funeral Service

9:00 am
Saturday, April 14, 2018
St. Mary's Catholic Church
228 E. Jefferson Street
Iowa City, Iowa, United States


St. Stanislaus Cemetery
540th Street
Riverside, Iowa, United States