John Blanco

IDA GROVE – Services for John Blanco, 90, of Ida Grove will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 19, 2021, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ida Grove. The Rev. Richard D. Ball will officiate.

Burial will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Ida Grove. Military rites will be by McNamara-Moore Post No. 61 of Ida Grove American Legion.

Visitation will be 5-6:30 p.m., with a vigil service at 6:30 p.m., Friday, June 18, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ida Grove. Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home in Ida Grove is in charge of arrangements.

He died June 6, 2021, at Willow Dale Wellness Village in Battle Creek.He was the loving husband and father of four children.

John was born May 8, 1931, in New Britain, Conn. He was the youngest of Serafino and Josephine Blanco’s six children.

While in high school, John realized that he didn’t care much for school and dropped out to start working as an orderly in a local hospital.

He entered the U.S. Army in 1952 and was stationed in Germany as a medic. He often told stories about driving an ambulance, with a “terrible clutch,” all over the U.S. base there.

After being discharged from the military, he decided that he liked school after all and entered the medical field, following a passion he had for helping others.

He graduated from Alexian Brothers School of Nursing in Chicago, Ill., and then entered Mercy School of Anesthesia in Springfield, Mass., graduating as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

From there, he went to Hurley Hospital in Flint, Mich., where he worked as a staff anesthetist and clinical instructor in the school of anesthesia.

While working in Flint, he met Judy Katke, who was working as a cardiac nurse. They married in July 1961, moved to Ann Arbor, Mich., and started their family.

At that point, John decided to pursue a business administration degree and graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1967.

After putting his name on a list of graduates who were looking for opportunities, he was recruited to be the administrator for Horn Memorial Hospital in Ida Grove.

He served as the administrator for 28½ years, until 1995. After retiring from Horn Memorial, he took several positions as interim administrator at hospitals and care centers in the region.

John loved playing music, collecting unusual musical instruments, spending time with family, participating in the church as a catechism teacher and eucharistic minister, and reading.

He served on the school board, library board, construction committee for the Catholic church and numerous other boards and committees for regional organizations.

He also enjoyed having in-depth conversations with people, and he felt it was very important for us to truly listen to one another.

Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 60 years, Judy Blanco of Ida Grove; a son, John (Sharon Day) Blanco and their children Nicholas (Kaylin Compton) and Graham of Boulder, Colo.; a daughter, Linda Goodenow (fiancé Mike Clement) and her children, Alex and Zachary (fiancée Heather Rankin) of Aurora, Colo.; a son, David Blanco (special friend Dawn McNally) and his children, Angelina and Aiden of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and a son, Matthew (Jill) Blanco and their children, Aubree and Carter of Oskaloosa; many nieces and nephews; extended family; and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Serafino and Josephine Blanco; four brothers: Joe, Louie, Angelo and Harold; and two sisters, Mary and Jane.

Condolences may be sent online at

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John’s name to the Ida Grove Ambulance Service and Horn Hospice.