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John Sawhill


John Robert Sawhill, 75, of Winterset died Monday, July 10, 2017, at West Bridge Care and Rehab in Winterset.

A visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 16, at Ochiltree Funeral Service, 1823 N. John Wayne Dr., in Winterset with family present to receive friends during this time. A funeral service will held 11 a.m. Monday, July 17, at the funeral home. Burial will be held at a later date in Eppard Cemetery in Jackson Township in Madison County. Memorials may be directed to Madison County Fair and Winterset Husky Wrestling. Online condolences may be left for the family at

John Robert Sawhill, son of Harold and Jessie (Robey) Sawhill, was born March 7, 1942, in Jefferson. He graduated from Winterset High School in 1960.

On May 7, 1961, John was united in marriage with Annette Eckhardt. She preceded him in death Nov. 30, 1998. He was later married to Karen Rayl Howard on July 8, 2000, at Zion Federated Church at the Madison County Historical Complex in Winterset.

John farmed for most of his working career on the family farm west of Winterset. He was a member of Pitzer Presbyterian Church and Jerusalem Methodist Church in Creston. 

John loved the Madison County Fair and was on the Madison County Fair Board for more than 25 years. He also kept score for the Winterset Husky wrestling team for more than 30 years. He enjoyed being a ham radio operator and was a member of Des Moines Radio Amateurs’ Association (DMRAA). He also attended coffee club at Hardee’s every day. John liked to attend horse shows, and had the uncanny ability to fall asleep anywhere. He loved supporting his children and grandchildren at all their sporting events and activities. Most of all, John was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend who cherished the time he was able to spend with his family and friends.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 17 years, Karen Sawhill of Lorimor; two sons, Mark (Mavis) Sawhill of Jefferson and Andrew (Denise) Sawhill of Winterset; stepchildren, Cindy Smith of Adel and Bruce Howard of Lorimor; four grandchildren, Lillian, John Michael, Katlyn and Megan Sawhill; step-granddaughter Abbey Smith; sister Eyleen Sawhill; extended family and a host of friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Jessie; first wife Annette and his son, James Sawhill.

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