John R. Birzer, 101, of Ottawa, passed away at his home Friday, March 9, 2018, with his family by his side.
Mass of Christian burial will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at Sacred Heart Church, Ottawa.
A rosary will be prayed at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at Dengel & Son Mortuary followed by a short family visitation.
Interment Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Ottawa.
John was born Feb. 6, 1917, near Wright, Kansas, in a sod house, the son of Frank and Mollie (Schiffner) Birzer.
He was raised on a farm near Dodge City, and in 1935, John moved to a farm near Ottawa.
John had an eighth grade education with a master’s in life. He self-taught many skills in mechanics and construction.
John was united in marriage to Phyllis Fowler on Aug. 16, 1948, at Sacred Heart Church, Ottawa. She survives of the home.
Other survivors include his six children, John Birzer of Ottawa, Lisa Goedken of Conception Junction, Missouri, Bibiana Zweig of Topeka, Deidre Birzer of Topeka, Celia Jardon and husband Bob of Leavenworth, and Franz Birzer of Ottawa; two sisters, Elsie McComas of Dodge City, and Mary Alice Herron of Cimarron; two brothers, Leo Birzer and wife Lou of Wichita, and Lawrence Birzer of Meridian, Mississippi; 15 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Mollie Birzer; two sisters, Alma Talley and Helen Carrier; five brothers, Frank, Edward, Lewis, Albert and Fred Birzer; great-grandson, Caleb Adwell; and two sons-in-law, Martin Goedken and Kenneth Zweig.
John started working in the mid-1930s for Standard Electric Time Company in the four-state area (Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma) installing and repairing time clocks, etc. He was a hard-working farmer, rancher, building contractor, electrician, plumber, and heavy equipment operator. From the mid-1950s to mid-1960s, John owned and operated The Blue Moon Ballroom in Ottawa.
He was a fourth degree member of the Ottawa Knights of Columbus, Council 3018, and served many years on the Greenwood Township Republican Committee.
John loved spending time with his family and grandchildren.
The family suggests memorial contributions to Sacred Heart Church c/o Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory, Ottawa, Kansas 66067. Family and friends are encouraged to post their condolences and memories on John’s Tribute Wall at www.dengelmortuary.com