Ronald John Kephart

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Ronald John Kephart joined his Lord and Savior in heaven on Sept. 1, 2016.

Visitation was Thursday, Sept. 8, at Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home, Guttenberg.

Funeral services were Friday, Sept. 9 at the funeral home.

Burial was in the Clayton Cemetery. 

John was born on July 6, 1966, in Rochester, N.Y., the eldest son of Gene and Carol (Dickinson) Kephart. John graduated from Rush Henrietta High School in 1984. He served his country in the United States Marines for four years as a Demolition Combat Engineer and was stationed in South Korea, Japan, North Carolina, and Hawaii.

John relocated to Northeast Iowa in 1992 and fell in love at first sight with Amy Steil. John and Amy married on May 18, 1996, and made their home in Frenchtown. They have five children, Rachael (Jonathan) Lowrey of Kansas City, Mo., and Samantha, Crystal, Kirisa and Anthony Kephart of Guttenberg. 

Following his military service, John earned various welding certifications from NICC, most notably, an underwater welding certificate. He was employed by CGB/Pattison in Clayton for the last 12 years. 

John loved his motorcycle and was a friendly face in Guttenberg, always ready with a wave and a smile for every passerby. He would cross the street to pick up a bag of chips at the grocery store and come back a half hour later with a new friend – he was that guy. No matter the situation, he would drop everything to help somebody. 

John played guitar and was devoutly involved in his church, Living Water Bible Fellowship in Guttenberg. He was baptized in the Mississippi River in 1996. John also enjoyed a good beer and recently joined the American Legion in Guttenberg.

John taught his children the essentials – to drive, to shoot a gun, to eat with chopsticks and to play chess. He made legendary omelets for breakfast, liked to golf and had a knack for mechanics, building his kids a dirt bike and often tinkering with cars and bikes. He left behind a shed of unfinished projects. He encouraged his 11-year-old son to participate in Boy Scouts and coached his football team, mostly without shoes on. 

Every single summer, John would pack a van for his wife and children and make the 16+ hour journey to New York to visit his family. John was a man of God, a devoted husband, father, brother, son, uncle, friend, and a hard worker. 

John leaves behind his wife; children; mother; siblings, Michael (Becky) Kephart of New York and Kim (Ken) Bauer of Pennsylvania; father-in-law, Dave Steil, and several nephews.

He joins his father; grandparents; uncle, Freddy and mother-in-law in eternal rest. 

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations toward living expenses during this difficult time. 

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