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John Sabotta

John R. Sabotta, 43, of Cedar Rapids, passed away unexpectedly March 6, 2015, at his apartment. A celebration of his life was held at Saturday, March 14, at Stewart Baxter Funeral and Memorial Services in Cedar Rapids by Deacon Jim Berger. Visitation took place one hour prior to the service. Burial was at St. John’s Cemetery beside his father, Quentin R. Sabotta, who died in 2012.
John was born in Cedar Rapids as the eighth child of Quentin and Phyllis Sabotta on Feb. 27, 1972. He attended Grant grade school, Wilson Jr. High and graduated from Jefferson High School. He was a member of the Wilson choir, Jefferson West Side Delegation and had the lead in “Pirates of Penzance.” While at the University of Iowa, he was a member of the Old Gold Singers and Beaumont Glass’ Opera group performing in “Il Travatore.”
When he left college due to medical issues he became a 20-year participant in Dr. Nancy Andreasen’s Schizophrenic study. Through their care, advanced drugs and support from the local Abbe Center, John was able to function independently and participate in nightly karaoke events. His brother Paul provided the car to meet up with friends. There was a “Tribute to John” on Saturday, March 14, at Rumors.
John’s interest in music was all inclusive. Starting at age 5 he performed a special arrangement of “The Entertainer” written by his piano teacher, Olga Drahozal at the first Grant School Talent Show. Later he discovered a trumpet with its mouthpiece missing but figured out how to make it play, ultimately becoming a member of the Jefferson Band of Blue, playing a much better horn. Recently he had been practicing his guitar skills. He created a disc of his original compositions and kept trying to organize a band of his own. He had an interest in the Stone City playhouse, the Follies and the recent Don Giovanni opera which he attended with his mother.
John had a passion for football forever and for several years was involved with the Waterloo arena league as player, filmer or announcer. John was employed at Nordstrom’s for five years and was recently a Walmart greeter.
His most unusual passion began in seventh grade doing freehand drawings of stadiums. It progressed to learning CAD drawing at Kirkwood and creating a volume of journals of these multipurpose stadiums in color. He attended many city hall meetings hoping to convince them to use one of his ideas in the post-flood rebuilding.
John is survived by his mother, Phyllis Sabotta; three brothers, Paul of Cedar Rapids, Mike of Cypress, Texas and Vince of Des Moines; five sisters, Denise Ledegar of Holmen, Wis., Diane Blewett of North Liberty, Christine Beguhn of Johnston, Sara Panek of Cedar Rapids and Linda Williams of Robins; and 17 nieces and nephews. Because John never married or had children he loved teaching these nieces/nephews chess or playing board games with them at family gatherings.
Memorials are suggested to the local Abbe Center or to Dr. Nancy C. Andreasen’s University of Iowa Schizophrenia study.