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John J. Ptacek
April 16, 1940 ~ October 13, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old
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Our sweet and gentle husband, father, and grandpa, John Joseph Ptacek, passed away on Friday, October 13, 2023 surrounded by his loving family. After spending his life caring for others, he spent the final days of his life in the care of the wonderful staff at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, to whom our family is ever grateful.
John was born on April 16, 1940 in Council Groves, Kansas. He attended high school in Webster City, Iowa, where he was a multisport standout who was the first athlete in Iowa’s history to be unanimously voted as first team all-state in basketball, setting scoring records that he held for the next 40 years.
It was also in high school that John met the love of his life, Linda (Lubbers). The pair married on August 22, 1958 after their high school graduation and headed to Ames to attend the Iowa State University, where John majored in Turf Grass Management while playing Division 1 basketball. He went on to graduate with honors from University of Iowa Medical School, by which point Linda had given birth to their three children- Jill, JT, and Dawn.
John completed 2 years of service in the Navy and after finishing a residency in Radiation Oncology, the young family moved to Medford, Oregon where John established a Radiation Therapy department, helping innumerable individuals and families through some of the most challenging moments of their lives. In 1990 John and Linda moved back to Ames, Iowa, where John continued practicing Radiation Oncology at the McFarland Clinic. While in Ames, John and Linda put their hearts into renovating an old barn house, which served as a gathering place for family and friends.
John and Linda retired to Savannah, GA in 2005, where they were able to spend most days playing golf and walking their beloved dogs (first Hannah, then Annie) and reading - John was an avid reader and life-long learner with an insatiable curiosity that only became stronger as he grew older. John loved spending time tending to his yard and gardens and watching birds visit his many feeders
His children and grandchildren will remember him as a compassionate, patient, humble, and generous man. They will remember his easy sense of humor and booming laugh that could shake a movie theater. They will remember his modest, gentle demeanor, his empathy for all people, and being enveloped in hugs by his 6’4” frame that always smelled like coffee and felt like home. John loved being with family, sharing a golf course with friends, watching college basketball (particularly his beloved Cyclones), dining at all-you-can-eat buffets, helping others, and . . . drinking chocolate milkshakes.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years Linda (Savannah, GA), daughter Jill (Arlington, VA),
son John Thomas (Lewisburg, PA), daughter Dawn Larabee (Miramar, FL), grandchildren: Peter Ptacek (Seattle, WA), Jamie Ptacek (Seattle, WA), Michaela Larabee
(Denver, CO) and John Larabee (Fort Novosell, AL), and his dog, Annie. He was preceded in death by his brother Peter Ptacek, parents Joseph L. Ptacek and Florence G. (Whelan), and sister Susan Ptacek.