John Weingartz

August 16, 1940 — December 29, 2015

John Weingartz

John H. “Big John” Weingartz, 75, of Viola, Illinois died Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015 at Genesis Medical Center, Aledo.

A celebration of life will be held 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016 at Dennison Funeral Home, Viola.  Following the service, there will be a visitation until 3:00 p.m. at the Viola United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, which will include time for food and shared memories.  Memorials may be left for the Viola Fire Department.

John was born Aug. 16, 1940 in Rock Island, IL a son of John G. “Jack” and Virginia Swisher Weingartz.  On Nov. 9, 1973, he married Annette Shelton Christensen.  He had worked at Harvest Day Bakery in Rock Island and he and Annette owned/operated Big John’s Pizza in Viola, before going to work at the Aledo Wal-Mart.  John had been a member of the Jaycees, Lions Club, Ducks Unlimited and Viola Fire Department.  For several years he performed with the band “Somewhere in Between”.  He loved to fish, hunt, meet up with the coffee group and was a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan.  Big John had a big personality, he was a true entertainer and story teller.  Using those talents, he became famous in the area for portraying Santa Claus.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife:  Annette Weingartz, Viola, IL; children:  Alayne Weingartz, Aurora, IL, John P. Weingartz, Texas, Michael (Debra) Weingartz, Clinton, IA, Laurie Wailand, Aledo, IL and Sue (Bruce) Cheek, Eldridge, IA; step-children:  Roger (Deb) Christensen, Bettendorf, IA, Deborah (Terry) Christensen-Andrew, Vinton, IA and Andy (Kathy) Christensen, Cedar Rapids, IA; 22 grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren; 2 great great grandchildren and sister:  Roxanne (Robert) Boyum, Coal Valley, IL.  He was preceded in death by his parents.

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