Saturday, April 1, 2017
Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge
2500 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, IA 50265
Des Moines, Iowa
Hamilton's Southtown Funeral Home
5400 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50315
Jon “Big Jon” Martin Witzenburg, 72, of Indianola, IA, passed away on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at Taylor House Hospice in Des Moines, IA, after a long battle with cancer.
Jon was born June 15, 1944, in Des Moines, IA, to Anna (Maroza) & Earl Witzenburg. Jon grew up in Pleasant Hill with his sister, Mary Anne. Jon graduated from East High School and later earned a degree from Simpson College in Indianola majoring in Philosophy, Sociology and Religion.
In 1972, Jon met his wife, Kathy (Guy). They celebrated 42+ happy and devoted years together and raised three children (“a lovely bunch of coconuts” as he lovingly referred to them). They lived in homes Jon designed, built and added-on to throughout the years. Jon and Kathy were best friends and shared an invincible bond that made every day an adventure. They regularly traveled around the country and Europe over the past 45 years. Jon and Kathy also enjoyed spending summers at their cabin in Canada on Lake Superior.
Jon was constantly working on projects around the house, yard, and garage and regularly thinking up ideas for anything handcrafted. An enthusiast for classic cars, Jon loved going to swap meets and car shows to spend quality time with friends and make new ones. The dream, the sketch, and the hunt were all part of the fun, and Jon had a gift for envisioning for what ideas could someday become.
Jon was a plumber by trade and a proud member of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 33. He retired from the City of Des Moines Parks Department in 2003. He was a hardworking man who could always balance work, family, and hobbies and never turned down a cross-country road trip.
Jon will be remembered for his gentle nature, determination, sense of humor, passion for life, and his unconditional love and loyalty for his family and friends. “Big Jon” will never be forgotten.
Jon is survived by his wife, Kathy, of Indianola, daughter, Brittin Wood (Nicholas) of Des Moines, son, Dakota Witzenburg (Audrey) of Los Angeles, CA, daughter, Autumn Witzenburg, of Indianola, Jon’s grandchildren, Miles, Andy, Lucas and Logan, his sister, Mary Anne Doane (Bob) of Mesa, AZ, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, and his favorite Airedale, Sasha (“Sasha Jean” as he called her).
His parents precede him in death.
Jon’s wish was to be remembered by family and friends with a Celebration of Life. The event will be held Saturday, April 1, at 4:30 pm at Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge (2500 Grand Ave., West Des Moines, IA 50265).
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Taylor House Hospice (3401 E. Douglas Ave., Des Moines, IA 50317), Indianola Heights Christian Church (810 E. Park Ave., Des Moines, IA 50315), or Cancer Research in loving memory of Jon.
On-line condolences may be expressed at