John Elken Obituary

John H. Elken
John H. Elken
John H. Elken

December 29, 1926 - November 17, 2012
Born in Mayville, ND
Resided in Urbandale, IA
  • Contat Us
  • Guestbook
  • Photos
  • Services
  • Send Flowers


John H. Elken, 85, died Saturday, November 17, 2012 at Iowa Methodist West Medical Center. Memorial services will be held 11:00 am, Saturday, November 24, 2012 at Plymouth Congregational Church. There will be a private family interment of the cremated remains in the Plymouth Memorial Garden.

John was born December 29, 1926 in Mayville, North Dakota to Guy and Gladys (Haynes) Elken. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and then his Masters Degree in Mathematics from the University of Michigan. He was a WWII Navy Veteran. In 1950, John moved his family to Des Moines. He retired as a Senior Vice President with Principal Financial Group after 38 years of service.

Memberships included Plymouth Congregational Church, Rotary Club, Des Moines Club, Embassy Club, Des Moines Golf and Country Club and Society of Actuaries. John served as a board member of the Science Center, Des Moines Metro Opera and Deerfield. John enjoyed playing golf, arts and crafts and was a very popular singer with the church choir. He was an excellent teacher and loved spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Survivors include his children: Eric (Barbara Coughennower) Elken of Des Moines, Ann Elken of Prole; grandchildren: Christopher Elken, Jerredd Elken, Angela Rodriguez, Justin Elken, Christine Kenoyer, Aaron Elken; 14 great grandchildren; many nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by his wife Colleen in 2005.

Memorial contributions may be made to Plymouth Foundation

"Click here to view memorial folder"

Arrangements by Iles Funeral Homes ~ Dunn's Chapel.




Plymouth Congregational Church
4126 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
Saturday, November 24, 2012
11:00 AM