Obituary of John A. Bennett
John A. Bennett of Iowa City, Iowa, passed away on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at his home after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis.
John was born in Elgin, IL, on June 25, 1947. On October 23, 1993, John married Judy Ortscheid. As a young adult he worked as a welder, brakeman for the railroad, and forklift driver. He went on to focus on “people care” as a paramedic with Johnson County Ambulance Service and at the UIHC in pediatric cardiology. John dedicated much of his professional career to organ donation, his specialty was caring for and supporting donor families, working at both Iowa Donor Network and LifeLink of Georgia. In 2001, while working at LifeLink, he received the President’s Award for outstanding contributions and service. John took great pride in caring for donor families. He always kept their grief and the gift of life as the focus of his mission of caring. Returning to Iowa City in 2011, John was a nurse at the Iowa City Community School District, and at Mercy Urgent Care.
A lifelong Chicago Bears fan and avid runner, he loved to golf, and spent time riding his motorcycle. John dedicated many hours volunteering by reading to the blind and to kindergarten students and working at the IC Compassion Food Pantry. It was John’s nature to really get to know people, whether on vacation, sitting in the local bar, where within the week the staff greeted him with “Chicago’s in the House!” or attending the funerals and visitations of those he worked with that became donors. He knew the importance of relationships as seen by how John embraced and found something special in all he met. People that got to know John realized he was truly “one of a kind”.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur E. Bennett, and Doris May Bennett; mother and father-in-law, Marcella and Arnold Ortscheid; infant sister-in-law, Mary Kay Ortscheid; brother-in-law, Bob Ortscheid; niece, Coral Bustamante, and beloved companions, Auggie, Cheyenne and Allie.
John’s family includes his wife, Judy Bennett and beloved dog, Gertie; siblings, Karen Bennett; Paul (Terri) Bennett; and Steve Bennett; brothers-in-law, Dennis (Kay) Ortscheid, and Dan (Brenda) Ortscheid and sisters-in-law, Ann (Jim) Haas and Susan Ortscheid; and many nieces, nephews and godchildren who he adored and spoiled.
A time of visitation will be held from 11 am-1:30 pm, Saturday, September 23, 2023, (followed by private family services) at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Services, to honor John, please wear Chicago Bears clothing or colors to his celebration. In lieu of flowers, please remember John by cheering for the Chicago Bears this season. Memorial contributions may be made in John’s Memory to the Iowa City Animal Shelter, Friends of the Animal Center Foundation, and Iowa City Hospice. John's family would like to thank Dr. Alicia Gerke, Dr. Christopher Schuster and the staff at Iowa City Hospice for their wonderful care of John.