John Kottman, 88, died peacefully Thursday, March 13, 2014, at the Solon Care Center surrounded by his family. Funeral Services were held March 17 at Zion Lutheran Church with the Rev. Jennifer Lutz officiating. Graveside committal with military honors was conducted at Memory Gardens Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Zion Lutheran Church or to the Metropolitan Opera.
John was born March 30, 1925, in Hampton, the son of Elmer and Dorothea (Bokemeier) Kottman. He was a graduate of Sheffield High School and received his bachelors, masters and PhD from the University of Iowa. John served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in Italy from 1944 until 1946, and was a top turret gunner on a B-24 Liberator. On Aug. 21, 1949, John married Helen Carroll at the First Presbyterian Church in Atlantic. John was a professor at the University of Iowa in the School of Journalism and the College of Business. He was a gifted teacher and was honored by business students as their outstanding professor for two years in a row. John retired in 1987.
He was a member of Zion Lutheran Church and a charter member of Christ the King Lutheran Church. John was a gardener and landscaper, planting over 127 trees and bushes on their acreage. When he was in the military in Italy and his comrades were in the bars John would attend the opera. He loved the opera, especially cherished the sounds of Verdi, Wagner and Puccini. Most important to John was his family. John is survived by his wife Helen and their two sons, Steven John (Carol Hartman) Kottman of Solon and James Richard (Genie) Kottman of Cedar Rapids, two grandsons Sean and Christopher Kottman; his brother Richard of Ames; two nieces Tracey (Kevin) Wood and Camilla Kottman; great nephew Jonathan Wood; and Anne Kottman of Ames. He was preceded in death by his parents and daughter-in-law Karen. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.lensingfuneral.com.