In Memory of John Blanco

John Blanco
John Blanco
Born: May 8, 1931
Died: June 6, 2021
Age: 90
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John Blanco
May 8, 1931 - June 6, 2021
From: Ida Grove, IA

John Blanco, age 90, of Ida Grove, Iowa, passed away on Sunday, June 6, 2021, at the Willow Dale Wellness Village of Battle Creek, Iowa.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, June 19, 2021, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Ida Grove, Iowa. Father Richard D. Ball will officiate. Committal Services will follow in the Sacred Heart Cemetery of Ida Grove, Iowa, with Military Rites by the McNamara-Moore Post No. 61 of the Ida Grove American Legion. A Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with a Vigil Service to follow at 6:30 p.m., on Friday, June 18, 2021, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Ida Grove, Iowa.   

The Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home of Ida Grove, Iowa, is in charge of the funeral arrangements.  Condolences may be sent online at

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John’s name to the Ida Grove Ambulance Service and Horn Hospice. 

On Sunday, June 6 2021, John Blanco, loving husband and father of four children, passed away at the age of 90. John was born on May 8, 1931, in New Britain, CT. He was the youngest of Serafino and Josephine Blanco’s six children. While in high school, John realized that he didn’t care much for school and dropped out to start working as an orderly in a local hospital. He entered the U.S. Army in 1952 and was stationed in Germany as a medic. He often told stories about driving an ambulance with a “terrible clutch” all over the U.S. base there. 

After being discharged from the military, he decided that he liked school after all and entered the medical field, following a passion he had for helping others. He graduated from Alexian Brothers School of Nursing in Chicago, IL and then entered the Mercy School of Anesthesia in Springfield, MA, graduating as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). From there, he went to Hurley Hospital in Flint, MI, where he worked as a staff anesthetist and clinical instructor in the school of anesthesia.

While in Flint, he met Judy Katke, who was working as a cardiac nurse. They married in July 1961, moved to Ann Arbor, MI and started their family. 

At that point, John decided to pursue a business administration degree and graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1967. After putting his name on a list of graduates who were looking for opportunities, he was recruited to be the administrator for Horn Memorial Hospital in Ida Grove, IA. He served as administrator for 28 ½ years until 1995. After retiring from Horn Memorial, he took several positions as interim administrator at hospitals and care centers in the region. 

John loved playing music, collecting unusual musical instruments, spending time with family, participating in the church as a catechism teacher and eucharistic minister, and reading.  He served on the school board, library board, the construction committee for the Catholic church, and numerous other boards and committees for regional organizations. He also enjoyed having in-depth conversations with people and he felt it was very important for us to truly listen to one another. 

Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 60 years Judy Blanco of Ida Grove, IA; son John (Sharon Day) Blanco and their children Nicholas (Kaylin Compton) and Graham of Boulder, CO; daughter Linda Goodenow (fiancé Mike Clement) and her children Alex and Zachary (fiancée Heather Rankin) of Aurora, CO; son David Blanco (special friend Dawn McNally) and his children Angelina and Aiden of Colorado Springs, CO; and son Matthew (Jill) Blanco and their children Aubree and Carter of Oskaloosa, IA; and also many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Serafino and Josephine Blanco; brothers Joe, Louie, Angelo and Harold; sisters Mary and Jane.


10:00 a.m., Saturday,
June 19, 2021
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Ida Grove, Iowa

Facebook Live Link  or


Father Richard D. Ball


Honorary Pallbearers
Graham Blanco
Nicholas Blanco
Alexander Goodenow
Zachary Goodenow
Angelina Blanco
Aiden Blanco
Aubree Blanco
Carter Blanco


5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Friday,
June 18, 2021
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Ida Grove, Iowa

Vigil Service at 6:30 p.m.


"Prayer of St. Francis" ~ solo
"Amazing Grace"
"How Great Thou Art"
"Let There Be Peace On Earth"
"Wings of a Dove" ~ solo

Kay Bloyer, Organist
Joey Hoefling, Cantor
John Blanco, Guitar


Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery
Ida Grove, Iowa


Monday, June 28, 2021 at 11:39 AM
“Judy, Linda, David, Matt, and family,

You have been on my mind all week. John was so special in the community. I always enjoyed our interviews with him at the hospital.

Because of Ice Cream Days in Le Mars, I had to work at the Museum the day of John's funeral.

Keeping you in my prayers,
Judy Bowman”
- Judy Bowman
Monday, June 21, 2021 at 3:26 PM
“My condolences to Judy and her family. I had the privilege of serving on the Horn Memorial Hospital Board with John for six years. He was a great asset to the hospital and the community for many years.”
- Jim Raasch
Friday, June 18, 2021 at 3:44 PM
“So sorry to hear of your loss. Thank you for sharing your dad with all of us. Losing a parent is tough, your memories will get you through. God bless you and comfort you.”
- Mari Baker Brady
Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 8:58 AM
“In the 1990’s I was on the administrative team at Sioux Valley Hospital in Cherokee and have fond memories of John and the administrative team at Horn. A great role model, teacher and inspiration. Caring thoughts, Donna Matthew Vandehaar”
- Donna Matthew Vandehaar
Friday, June 11, 2021 at 9:30 AM
“Matt & family,
The passing of a parent leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled, but becomes easier to accept with the help of memories. Wishing you strength through this difficult journey.
Chris Schippers”
- Chris Schippers
Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 9:32 AM
“I am sorry for your loss. I remember John as one of the kindest men I knew”
- Karen Vasher
Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 11:10 AM
“Linda & family,

So sorry for your loss. Find comfort in your memories. Prayers are with you!”
- Nancy (Brookbank) Hasbrouck
Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 10:42 AM
“Matt and family. It is never easy to say goodbye to family. I am sorry to hear of the loss of your father. You are in my prayers and if there is something I can do to help support, please reach out. God Bless.”
- Matt Larson
Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 10:42 AM
“My sincere condolences to his family. John was a wonderful man and I will never forget all times he would bring his special spices for his sausage. Of course he would give me a couple pounds and it was delicious!! Everytime you would run into him he was always warm and caring! He will watch over you all! Prayers of comfort.......”
- Rich Renfro
Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 2:18 PM
“So sorry for your loss 🙏🏻”
- Diane Fleenor
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