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John Thomas Boltz, 89 of San Marcos, CA, (formerly from Kahoka, MO), died peacefully Sunday, February 8, 2015 at Tri-City Hospital in Oceanside, CA.
"JT" was born November 14, 1925 in La Grange, Missouri, the son of Cena and Oval Boltz. He moved to Keokuk at the age of 14 and graduated from Keokuk High School in 1945 where he played football.
JT's first love was the St. Louis Cardinals and baseball, a passion that he shared with his beloved grandpa and passed down to his children and grandchildren.
John proudly served his country on the front lines in the Korean War and later joined the National Guard.
As a young adult, John hitchhiked to the west coast with his good buddy. He arrived in California with just fourteen cents in his pocket! In 1954, in Los Angeles, he met and within three months married, Tove Pedersen, a California native. With his big personality and generous heart, John quickly gained "Honorary Dane" status among Tove's extended Danish family. He later gave Tove's mother the opportunity to travel to Denmark during her final days and sponsored Tove's Danish cousins allowing them to immigrate and flourish in America.
John and Tove remained in California for over three decades where they raised their four daughters. John built a career in consumer products distribution working for Sterling Liquor, Max Factor and Jafra Cosmetics. John was a beloved boss who preferred to have an office near his staff and the shipping lines rather than a corporate office. He enjoyed working closely with his employees, often helping or offering counsel when personal situations emerged.
Throughout his life, John was driven by a deep desire to help people. Near the conclusion of the war in Vietnam, he sponsored and opened his home to a refugee family from Cambodia, including nine children and their parents.
John was an avid reader, with a love of history. His favorites were biographies of historical icons, most notably Harry Truman. Not to be outdone by his mother Cena, a hometown bowling star herself, John loved and excelled at bowling, a passion he enjoyed weekly for decades.
In 1988 John retired and moved back HOME to Missouri with his wife. He and Tove settled in Kahoka and eventually moved to Kahoka Senior Housing. During his retirement years, John joined the local Lions Club and American Legion in Missouri and California. One of his proudest achievements was serving as a Missouri "Elder Ombudsman" for his county and participating in hearings supporting the rights and needs of the elderly in the State Legislature.
John is survived by 3 of his 4 daughters: Linda DuBois of Encinitas, CA, Georgia Worden of Sammamish, WA and Melissa Ontiveros of Carlsbad, CA, 12 grandchildren: Christina, Lindsay, Rachel, John Harris, John, Brian, Dillon, Carly, Yvonne, Mary, Jessica and Henry, 3 great-grandchildren: Jimmy, Kayla and Blake. He leaves his siblings: Wayne Boltz, Robert Boltz and Carol Rose of Keokuk and Donna Clark of Montrose.
John is preceded in death by his wife of 54 years Tove, daughter Teresa, grandson David, brother Roy, sister Louise and parents Cena and Oval Boltz.
Funeral services were held Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 10 a.m. at Wilson Funeral Home in Kahoka with Rev. Rodney Underwood officiating. Burial with full military honors followed in the Day Cemetery at Winchester, MO.
Friends called at Wilson Funeral Home after 9 a.m. Friday with family receiving friends from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Memorials are suggested to the Kahoka Lion's Club.
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