John R. Gilpin, 84, of Lynnville, died Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, at West Ridge Specialty Clinic in Knoxville. The family will greet friends from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13 at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory followed by a graveside service at the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials in John’s name (checks made payable to Margaret Lambertus) may be left at the funeral home.
John, the son of Ambrose Joseph and Frances (Boyd) Gilpin, was born Dec. 12, 1934, in Iowa City. He grew up on a farm in the rural Washington/Wellman area and graduated from Wellman High School. John served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1954 to 1958. John was united in marriage with JoAnn Diggins in Nebraska in 1957. John worked at the Parsons Company, Massey Ferguson, Gralnek and then for many years at the Vermeer Company in Pella, where he would retire from.
Many people knew John as “Big John and his guitar” as he was known for being a part of the Missouri Valley River Boys band in the 1970s and loved singing and playing at state fairs, local nursing homes and churches. John was a member of the Lynnville Friends Church and an advocate and supporter of Child Life. He enjoyed watching football, NASCAR and wrestling and spending time with his great-granddaughters. John was also proud of his 35 years of sobriety.
John is survived by his two daughters, Margaret Lambertus and Marilyn Gilpin, both of Newton; grandsons, Isaac Gilpin, Lucas (Scena) Gilpin and Jerry Lambertus; great-granddaughters, Sky and Ava Gilpin; his siblings, Michael (Marlene) Gilpin, Mary (David) Minshall, Patrick Gilpin and William Gilpin; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, JoAnn Gilpin; and sons, Robert Gilpin and Thomas (Laura) Gilpin.