John Benjamin Schoondyke

A celebration of life service for John B. Schoondyke, 78, of rural Russell, Iowa will be held Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 at the Cornerstone Community Church in Chariton at 11 a.m. Family will receive friends prior to the service beginning at 10:00 a.m. and a luncheon will be held following the service for a time of fellowship. Memorial contributions can be sent to the Iowa Youth Fishing League.

You may join John's family via livestream at

John Benjamin Schoondyke, a kind and generous man, lived his life with a zest and passion few others experience. He grew up on the southside of Des Moines, born in Rising Sun, near Pleasant Hill, Iowa on August 29, 1943 to Emil Robert and Lenora Anita Schoondyke. He attended school at Howe Elementary, Nathan Weeks Jr High and Lincoln, but found that a formal education wasn’t for him. So he started working until age 17 when he joined the Army and served 2 years. This was a great opportunity for him as he was taught discipline and organization in his life.

John was married to Sharol Stout on May 1, 1966. They were neighbors and dated off and on until they were married. John lived the dream of fishing for a living. He fished tournaments for many years as well as being an IronWorker, property manager and owned the Tackle Shack on the Southside of Des Moines before he sold it and moved to southern Iowa near Rathbun Lake. He had such a passion for not only fishing, but for teaching the art of fishing. He loved to share his experiences with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Throughout the years he was very close to his stepfather, Rex Campbell. His mother married Rex when John was a young man and they became very close as John always referred to him as dad.

John was kind to others, but especially loved kids. He always made time to visit and share with youngsters. He often had candy and treats to share with them.

The love of people, making friends, and visiting was a large part of who John was. He missed seeing people at the store after he retired, but found new ways of connecting with others. He loved raising a garden and taking care of his fruit trees, not for his use, but for being able to give the very best produce to his neighbors. He loved to hear, “There is no way these apples came from your trees, they are so nice they must be store bought.”. And many people enjoyed his homegrown sweet corn and tomatoes.

John always wanted to be a farmer, and in retirement, he was fortunate to have his acreage and find a church family at Cornerstone in Chariton.

John passed away September 26, 2021 at the Lucas County Health Center in Chariton. He is survived by his wife, Sharol; daughters: Shelley (Tim) Payne and Tina (Patrick) Riley; six grandchildren: Alex Payne, Nettie (Catlen) Grubb, Jason (Jenny) Scott, Niki (Caleb) Mumford, Allison (Brian Lee) VoPava, and Hunter Riley; great grandchildren: Kaytee, Karie, Allysa, Noah, Dexter, Ella, and Gunner; a sister, Colleen Hasbrook; and many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and stepfather; and siblings; Rose Cosper, Linda Fessler and Norman Schoondyke.

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