Last Updated: 02/10/2015
Last Review: 02/10/2015
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John was so special and loved by many. I'll miss hearing from him and know my thoughts are with all his family. Until we meet again, John. Love you!
~ Nancy Combest - June 14, 2023
So many memories, the old dog and I shared. I will miss him! May the Lord hold him in the palm of his hand, until we meet again. I will always pray for him.
~ Larry Lafferty - June 14, 2023
John is my good friend Paula's dad and my family is so sad for all of John's family. I know he loved you all very much and he was such a happy, friendly guy. I know he will be dearly missed.
I'll always remember when John and Jan came to share their craft with our/Sydney's girl scout troop in making a banner together! I know the girls enjoyed spending time with each others families and those are special memories for them!
Hollee is especially sad for Sydney and all of you. You're all like family to us and we will miss seeing John's smile at get togethers. May God bless you all and bring you comfort in your loss.
~ Darcy Webb - June 14, 2023
I am very sorry for the loss of John, and that I am unable to join you for his memorial service.
In recent years I have not had the opportunity to visit with John because of my location. When we were younger, our families would get together regularly. John was one of my favorite cousins, among many. In 1951, the Kaw River produced an historic flood, that resulted in John and his family having to leave their farm home, and as a result, they temporarily moved into our nearby family farm home, located on a hill. John helped us take care of his dad's herd of hogs, which were also re-located to our farm. As a result, our families grew even closer together.
Later, when John and I were both attending Washburn University, we would get together to visit.
John was a kind, friendly, and considerate gentlemen, and very much took after his Mom and Dad. He will be missed.
Edward John Desch, Jr.
~ Edward Desch - June 14, 2023
We've known John since we were kids, mom was a classmate of his and the classmates always seemed to find a reason to get together. When dad was ill John and Jan did so much to help mom with his care. Mom still talks about how helpful they were. Regardless of the the time of day or what was needed, they took care of it. Amazing people and wonderful friends to our family. I don't remember ever seeing him without a smile.
~ Sherri Gibson - June 13, 2023
I first met Ol’ John in August of 1973. We were both working at General Foods in Topeka. I remember thinking he was, in a good way, an unusual character. Little did I know at the time how that character would shape my life going forward. Since that first meeting our families, our work lives and our social lives have been intertwined. Two overarching themes come to mind in reflection.
First is Ol’ John the teacher. John gave lessons to everyone he met on how to treat others. Ol’ John had no idea he was teaching. John was just being John and treating everyone as if they were special. I am confident that each of us, that new John, treats others better because of his example.
Second is Ol’ John the example of a life well lived. My goal, that I will never attain, is to be like John. Going forward I will continue to strive to be more like John. The world would be a much better place if everyone worked each day to be a little more like John.
I love you, John. I’ll miss you. We all will. Rest in peace my friend.
My prayers go out to Jan, Paula, Wendy, Judy, Sherry and the rest of Ol' John's wonderful family.
~ Mark Riggin - June 13, 2023
I am sorry to hear about John’s passing. I have wonderful memories of John during the time that Larry and I lived in Topeka. His smile was so special. John has a great family that will always be able to recall his special time.
~ Ruth Morford - June 13, 2023
Thanks BIG JOHN for your service to our Great Nation. I remember the times we had with the flags at the old depot and all the missions with the Patriot Guard/Legion Riders.
You were an awesome person, who I respected and was proud to be your friend. Over the past few years I have not been able to see or talk to you, but you were in my prayers.
May God bless you, your friends and YOUR FAMILY.
~ Mike Simmons - June 12, 2023
So sorry for your loss. Prayers for your family. I graduated in 1957 from Seaman. Just a couple years ahead of him.
~ Richard Green - June 12, 2023
My condolences to the family on the passing of Mr.Desch. May God keep you and comfort you during this difficult time.
~ Lori Allen - June 11, 2023
I met John at Henry Mfg. in the mid 60's. Then we cr0ssed paths when John worked for General Foods and I was working at Wilch Mfg. General Foods subbed work out to us.. Then as time passed I would run in to John. We would catch up on our good old days. Then several years ago when I was working at Hayden Tower, I was visiting with a young man that turned out to be John's grandson. We talked about the old truck and fixing it up. John was a great guy and I was blessed to know him and work with him.
~ Phil Davis - June 11, 2023
We have so many happy memories of John and his family from way back in the 1980's. Memories of the Topeka Classic Club of which he was a big part! Planning and hosting the club's annual Classic Chevy Club's show here in Topeka and traveling to Missouri, Omaha, Oklahoma and Texas to participate in their shows. John and his little red truck would always be there and having the time of his life participating in all events, meeting new friends and his laughter was everywhere. His family also hosted our annual chili cook-outs at his farm which no one wanted to miss! Great times had by all. John was a special friend to our son. (whom we lost a few weeks ago) and helped him with model car contests at many shows. We have many photos of those events and they will keep him in our thoughts forever. Sincere sympathies to Jan, Paula and Wendy and their families. He will be greatly missed!
~ Judy and Bob Conklin - June 11, 2023
To the Families. I worked with John at General Foods. Several years later John came to my job as a outside salesman for Knox Supply. Your Families are in our thoughts and prayers in this difficult time in life.
~ Rick Cyr - June 11, 2023
Our sincerest condolences to you & your family.
I remember the first time I met John. Jeff & I were applying to the Field & Stream Club a few years ago & John had wonderful stories to share about living there!
I always enjoyed running into John in your driveway with a smile on his face & happy to chat for a few minutes.
John will be dearly missed. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you.
Keri Nail & Jeff Hardesty
~ Keri Nail - June 11, 2023
John will be missed and remembered
By all of us.
GOD BLESS you my friend.
~ Lonny and Karon Cook - June 11, 2023
John was a long time member of the Foundation for Aeronautical Education and he will be greatly missed. He could always be counted on to help out with club activities and really enjoyed flying his airplanes indoors and outdoors.
Blue skies and light winds John. Thanks. Greg and FAE
~ Gregory Inkmann - June 11, 2023
John was a special guy! I had the pleasure to go on some motorcycle trips with him and many other friends. My children are lucky to have the worm name too! He will be missed. You are in my prayers Paula and Wendy and Jan!
~ Sharon Romine - June 11, 2023
John's families and friends - Sorry to read of John's passing. I believe John lived an exciting life. John was in a class ahead of me at Seaman and if you didn't bump into him, you didn't know if he was there that day or not. At that time in his life, he was a quiet guy. Kathy and I lived in the condos along Foxcroft Circle, one day at the swimming pool met a neighbor, Sherry. She shared that she had been married to John and they had two daughters, Wendy and Paula. To Jan and his sister Judy, your families are in our thoughts and prayers.
~ Russell and Kathy Cropp - June 11, 2023
As one of the non family Worm kids… John was an absolute treasure of a man. So glad I was able to grow up with him on our early years of life. Much love to Wendy and Paula
~ Nicole Majors - June 10, 2023
Where to begin? I lived down the road from the Desch's. Their home was my second home. I can not count the number of hours, days, and nights spent there. Wendy's parents always welcomed me with open arms. They were so much fun! From dirt bikes to snowmobiles, to taking us to the Harveyville street dance in their family van, a good time was always had. John patiently set through all of our Solid Gold Dancers' routines and let us be us with a huge smile on his face. We even made a tape recording for him of good morning songs.
John will forever hold a special place in my heart. My prayers go out to all his family and friends.
~ Tomi Rues - June 10, 2023
John, I don't know where to begin, to express my love and joy, of having you as my awesome brother. There couldn't have been anyone better to have filled those shoes.
From some of our earliest childhood memories, when living on the farm, playing and learning together as we grew, we watched out for each other. You were my protector throughout our life...no you can't go out with that guy, to we can figure this out and fix it. Mostly you fixed it. You let me drive your '59 Impala, I was so proud. You taught me that Conch Fritters, and turkey fries were good, sledding in the winter, swimming & fishing in the summer. Our years at Lake Perry hold special memories of many fun times, and lots of new friends.
Your love showed through to all you met, and you were at your very best, with all of the family. I don't think you knew how to say no, nor did you want to. You were always willing and ready to help. You were a very special man... son, brother, husband, uncle, dad, grandpa, great grandpa, and friend to so many who are missing you.
I treasure all of these many memories of you, and so many more, that I will forever carry in my heart, until we meet again, my sweet brother.
Love you forever,
~ Judy Alexander - June 10, 2023
I had the good fortune of meeting John over 40 years ago. John was one of the most honorable people I have known, always smiling and thoughtful. His dedication with Honor Guards showed his patriotism and appreciation for those who served our country. What an Honor to know John. One of the true good guys around. RIP Ol' John!
~ Tom Kimery - June 10, 2023
I met John over 30 years ago.He was a friend and neigh to my late husband ,Philip McCain. They would set down with a drink and tell me the crazy things they did when they were teens. Philip , Jim Simpson a n d John were quite a group. They made my moved to Topeka easier. I felt like John's little sister.He tole Philip at our wedding that he was robbing the cradle.
My wish now that the three of them are having a grand time.
These three can not be replaced in my heart . I will love and miss them until we meet again.
~ Sue McCain - June 9, 2023
So sorry to hear of John's passing. He was the best! Prayers for all his family at this difficult time. He will be missed.
~ Theresa McCulley - June 9, 2023
John was such a good friend the world has lost a good man, R.I.P. my friend.
~ Kenny Ray - June 9, 2023
John was such a special person. Don Lafond always had good things to say about him. I hope I am able to come to the memorial service. He was famous for his turkey nuts and Harley bike Judy Lafond .
~ Judy Lafond - June 9, 2023
John was one of the nicest people Guy and I have had the pleasure of knowing. He always made me feel like I was someone special. This world needs more people like John. Guy and I will miss him terribly. Our sympathies to all his family, who he was so proud of.
~ Ann Parrett Anderson - June 9, 2023
I remember Johnny as extremely friendly, always smiling and with such a positive attitude. He will be missed.
My condolences to his family.
Love Mike & Jan Head
~ Michael Head - June 9, 2023
I echo the words of my brother, Dennis Renyer, well said. I will miss John calling me kiddo and ALWAYS having such a tremendous amount of vote of confidence in me. I will forever miss his smile, eyes that light up, kind words, hugs, and words of wisdom. The list is endless. To know him was to love him and be really respected by him and cared for. He was a one in a million gem and I will miss him beyond words. John this "kiddo" loves you to the moon and back and misses you TONS !!!!!!
~ Deanna York - June 9, 2023
This man was the BEST. No words can ever explain the loss of this man. He will be so greatly missed but NEVER ever forgotten!! Rest in peace "OLE PHART"
~ Dennis Renyer - June 8, 2023
John was always happy to see you. Smiles and hugs were given immediately. He was just “a great guy”. Easy to work with and have as a friend. God’s Speed John!??
~ Sandra Mitchell - June 8, 2023
My memories go way back to 1966 when John and I were both in the Navy SeaBees and stationed at Gulfport, Mississippi. We quickly became close friends mostly because of John's outgoing and warm personality. This friendship continued during both our tours to Viet Nam. Not only was he fun to be with taking our jokes about him being the "old man" of the group (as he was 5 years older than most of us) in stride. Quickly, he became know as "Old John," a name that stuck today and he called himself "Ole John," through his entire life. Because of him, the two tours in Viet Nam became almost bearable. The friendship continued back in the states between tours to Viet Nam, when John, myself and our families became close and spent much social time together. As a matter of fact, we all survived Hurricane Camille because of a safe place John was able to find for us. I could go on and on about John's virtues but can sum in up quickly: God, and all who John knew that went before him, will be waiting at the "Pearly Gates" with a huge Welcome sign. But, we will miss him so much!!
~ Mike Wood - June 8, 2023
My condolances to his wife and family. He will be greatly missed. A true gentleman and friend.
~ Morris Betry - June 8, 2023
John was the sweetest young man although he always said Hey Patty Girl this is “ole John” Just loved his sense of humor and his dedication to his friends and family! Many condolences to Jan and his girls and grands! He certainly will be missed and forever loved. God bless!
~ Patty Price - June 8, 2023
Our deepest sympathy to Jan, Wendy, and Paula! John was a great friend. We became classmates in the Fall of 1951 (fifth grade). Our friendship eventually centered on cars. I am glad I called him a couple of weeks ago.
Ken & Sharon
~ Ken Waters - June 8, 2023
John Desch was an amazing friend!! He was always so kind and helped me so much when my husband passed away almost 5 years ago. His love for God, his wife Jan, his family and friends, it always shone through his smile and his words. Heaven recieved a wonderful man and he is very much missed here on Earth! I will always regret not talking to him recently, because now the next time I can will be in Heaven. Miss you John...Praying for you Jan--I understand what you are going thru and God IS there!??
~ Cheryl Liberty - June 8, 2023
Deepest sympathy to John's family. He was a good man and friend to Ron and I. Aways had an invite to his families get-togethers at their house. Jan his wife and I have been friends for a long time and she will be lost without John. Truly a sad loss to many. Rest in peace John.
~ Marcia Reiter - June 8, 2023
Thinking of you all. May you find peace during this difficult time.
~ Heidi Bond - June 8, 2023
So very sorry to hear of John's passing. Rest assured that he and dad are already working on something! Thoughts and prayers to all of you.
~ Christine Desch - June 8, 2023
I am so sorry to hear this. John was always so sweet to me when I joined the auxiliary. He was one of the people that made me feel welcome. He will be missed so much. Prayers for all his family.
~ Pamela Scarboro - June 8, 2023
So sorry to hear of John's passing. He was such a great guy and always had a smile on his face! Sending prayers for comfort and healing to Jan and the rest of John's family! God Bless!!
~ Kendall Dalton - June 7, 2023
We are so sad to hear this news. We knew John and Jan through the American Legion. They are both a joy to be around and were always there to lend a hand in whatever was needed. I will miss hearing "How you doin' kid?" Rest easy my friend.
~ Teresa Martin - June 7, 2023
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