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Iles Funeral Home - Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA 50322
(515) 276-4567
Celebration of Life
Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Jasper Winery
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John C. Beattie Jr.


1937 - 2019
John C. Beattie Jr. Obituary
John C Beattie Jr

Des Moines, IA and Indian Wells, CA - John George Beattie Jr., 82, died of Alzheimer's Disease on August 8, 2019, while in hospice care. Born July 2, 1937, as the only child of George and Gladys Beattie, he enjoyed a wonderful childhood in Highland Park. Graduating in the class of 1955 at the old North High School, he remembered it as "a tough school with pink and green sissy colors!"

He attended the University of Iowa for one year and graduated from Drake University in 1959, but always remained a fan of the Black and Gold Hawkeyes. After college he joined the Army National Guard.

In 1959, John embarked on a 53-year career with the Equitable Life Insurance Company of Iowa, where he landed a job in the claims department. But it wasn't long before he realized sitting at a desk was not his life's ambition.

A lack of sales experience didn't deter him from catching a much sought after sales position where he hustled day and night and broke many century-old sales records for a new agent.

In 1969, John married Bonnie Zeller, a co-worker in the pension department. This last January they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

After a long career in sales, he was elevated to a General Agent, where the success of his new recruits meant everything to John. When their sales brought them bigger houses and nicer cars than he had, John didn't mind, since no one could have had a shinier car or shoes than he did --- he had his shoes shined and car washed every day! He always taught them to present an image of success.

Friends became clients and clients became friends. He played golf with the same buddies for more than 40 years. Forever a Highland Park loyalist, dinner and drinks with friends was often at Gino's on 6th Avenue.

The couple golfed at resorts all over the country at Equitable conventions. In retirement they enjoyed playing courses near their second home in Southern California, where at the Indian Wells Resort on November 23, 2005, at the age of 68 he shot his first and only hole-in-one (Bonnie talked the course owners out of the 700-lb. 17th-hole stone marker, which now sits as a trophy in their California condo's courtyard).

While John loved summers in Des Moines with his old friends, he and Bonnie also enjoyed their melting-pot group of new West Coast friends, a world apart from their modest Iowa upbringings. John often enthused, "I'm living the dream."

Alzheimer's can be a bleak illness, but for John, it became a magical world of make believe, with enjoyable trips, adventures and achievements that he enthusiastically shared. Each day brought forth more stories.

John will be forever cherished by his wife, Bonnie, his son Brad and his brothers-in-law Jim and John Zeller.

Our thanks to the entire staff of the Iowa Jewish Senior Center for their kindness, compassion, understanding and loving care. Thanks also to the amazing staff of the Hospice of the Midwest for their valuable help. Contributions may be made the Easter Seals' Camp Sunnyside or to a . No flowers please.

A celebration of life is planned at Jasper Winery on Sunday, August 18, 2019 from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Published in Des Moines Register from Aug. 13 to Aug. 18, 2019
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