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John S. Gosma, 79, of Davenport, passed away peacefully on Friday, July 8, 2022, at Clarissa Cook Hospice House, surrounded by his loving family. He was blessed with several days of clarity where he was able to laugh, tell stories, give hugs, listen to jazz music, enjoy good food (especially Whitey’s ice cream), worship, and connect with many friends from every season of life.
John was born in Davenport, IA, on July 26, 1942, the son of Albert and Helen Stutz Gosma. He grew up in Clinton, IA, and graduated from Clinton High School, class of 1960. He became a star basketball player, and was elected senior class president. At one point, he remembered his high school basketball coach saying, “Have fun or go home!” to which “we all laughed and had more fun.” He attended Drake University for a semester where he played basketball, then transferred to the University of Iowa to study business.
During a semester break, he visited a friend at Lindenwood College in St. Charles, MO. They attended a dance, and John met his bride-to-be, Heather Brisbin. They hit it off and drove back to U of I together to finish their sophomore year. They married on October 26, 1964, at First Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids, IA.
John continued at U of I, where he studied law, and was awarded a Juris Doctorate. He went on to serve as a clerk for Justice Clay LeGrand in the Iowa Supreme Court, and, in 1984, served as president of the Scott County, IA, Bar Association. John continued to practice law in Davenport his entire career.
John loved Musky fishing trips with his dear friends, and enjoyed boating. He and his family often traveled by train for downhill ski trips in Colorado. He played the accordion, was a talented pianist, loved jazz music, and was also featured as an organist on local radio in his youth. Whether he was driving his ’65 Wildcat or one of his many VW Beetles, he loved his cars.
John was an active member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, served on the boards for the Davenport Historical Society, The Outing Club, and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. He also was a coach for St. Paul’s youth basketball team. John was supportive of his daughters and grandchildren in music education, and was extremely proud of all of their performing talents. He was also an avid fan of University of Iowa football and basketball.
John was a fair, gentle, humble, honest, and loving man of strong integrity. He was the perfect father for three little girls. He had endearing names for his daughters, including his favorite, “Muffin.” When he heard of their myriad achievements, he would say, “What a kid!” One thing he would want to teach the next generation would be to treat people with kindness and respect.
John is survived by his wife, Heather, of Davenport; children Elizabeth Gosma (Charles Abplanalp), Emily (Anthony) Stoops, and Sarah (Matthew) Helfrich; 10 grandchildren, Lauren (Danny) Burseth, Jonathan (Katy) Abplanalp, Cameron Abplanalp, Madelyn Parker, Ava Helfrich, Noah Parker, Henry Stoops, Sophia Stoops, Paige Helfrich, and Benjamin Parker. John is also survived by siblings James (Debbie) Gosma, Jane (John) Reitz, and Julie (Jim) Irish.
John is preceded in death by his parents. The family expresses special thanks to his caregivers, Dr. Kim Fletcher, and the Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House for the compassion and excellence provided in John’s final days.
Saturday, July 16, 2022
9:00 - 11:00am (Central time)
Saturday, July 16, 2022
11:00am - 12:00pm (Central time)
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