John Beghtol Obituary

John E.
John E. "Jack" Beghtol

October 22, 1928 - November 17, 2020
Born in Des Moines, Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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John E “Jack” Beghtol, Des Moines

Jack Beghtol, 92, died November 17, 2020 after declining in health and contracting COVID-19. Born to Clarence and Marie Mulvany Beghtol on October 22, 1928, Jack grew up with his older sister, Julie, on east Grand near the fairgrounds. He attended Willard, St. Peter’s, and Woodrow Wilson, and graduated proudly from East High in 1946 where he ran track.

Upon graduation, he persuaded several of his buddies to enlist in the US Army so they could train and possibly serve together. Jack served in Korea prior to the Korean War. His long-standing career as a Rock Island Railroad fireman and then engineer provided for his family of 6 children. He retired prior to turning 60 and enjoyed traveling across the county.

Jack loved to play. He was a charter member of the Des Moines Ski Hawks and competed in Ski Tournaments in jump, slalom, and trick skiing. He also was known as the backwards slalom skier in Ski Shows at Grays Lake and he was a member of the Des Moines Power Boat Club where he water-skied into his seventies.

An avid snow-skier, he loved the mountains of Colorado and shared his love with family, friends and any stranger he could teach. Jack continued to stay active by roller-blading, dancing, and then bicycling into his eighties. Wintering in San Diego for 25 years, and summers on his boat at Okoboji as a tour guide, Captain Jack never met a stranger. He loved telling history stories and fables of Okoboji and the Pacific Ocean, and always knew which local pubs had the best happy hour. Jack was also a champion of the underdog and underserved, and he instilled this compassion and service in his children and grandchildren.

Welcoming him in heaven are his parents, sister, and her husband Everett Welch, nephew Jim Welch, and son-in-law Jim Dayton.

Surviving are children - Andrea & Fred Elms, Nancy & Gary Zinter, Lynn & Drew Cannon, Teresa Dayton, John & Barb Beghtol, Janice & Jim Thoen, their mother, Pat Strause, and 18 grandchildren, over 20 great-grandchildren and step grandchildren, as well as a niece, nephews, great nieces/nephews and cousins.

Jack’s family would like to thank the Valley View Village community who provided for Jack over the past 2 years, especially Marie.

Funeral services for immediate family will be Saturday, November 21 at St. Joseph’s in Des Moines at 11:00 followed by internment at Laurel Hill.

In memory, direct charitable contributions to: EHS Alumni Foundation PO Box 696, Des Moines, IA 50303. Indicate Class of 1946/Jack Beghtol on the memo. Or give to the food pantry of your choice.

Please visit Jack's obituary page where a live-stream link to the service will be provided beginning at 10:45 a.m. Saturday, November 21, 2020. The link can be found here or at the bottom of this page.






St. Joseph Catholic Church
3300 Easton Boulevard
Des Moines, IA 50317
Saturday, November 21, 2020
11:00 AM


EHS Alumni Foundation
PO Box 696
Des Moines, Iowa 50303