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John E. Levalley Obituary


John Edward "Jack" LeValley of Dayton died May 25, 2011 at Mercy Hospice in Johnston, Iowa. He was 86.

Jack was born November 6, 1924 in Dayton, to Edward S. and Julia (McGuire) LeValley. He was in the fourth generation of LeValleys to reside in Dayton and lived there nearly his entire life. In 1942 he graduated from Dayton High School, where he was active in sports, including baseball and basketball. After graduation, he immediately enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.

After training in San Diego, Calif., he was assigned to Company M, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, Second Marine Division. He saw combat action in the Pacific Theater of World War II, in multiple locations including three of the most significant battles of the war. He fought at Guadalcanal and Tarawa in 1943. In June 1944 he was part of the assault force on the island of Saipan. He was wounded in action on Saipan on July 4, 1944 - the last combat injury sustained by anyone in his Marine company in the war. His left leg was amputated above the knee.
After 9 months of hospitalization and rehabilitation in California, he returned to Iowa in 1945 and enrolled in the University of Iowa. There he met fellow student Patricia Lucille Miller of Marion, Indiana. Jack and Pat were married in November 1946 in Washington, D.C., where they lived for a short time before returning to Dayton to make their home.

Jack and Pat were blessed with five children: David and wife Chris of Santa Clarita, Calif.; Sandra and husband Rex "Brad" Kragh of Davidson, N.C.; Joseph and wife Jane of Waukee, Iowa; Paul and wife Diane Shinn of Arlington, Va.; and Janet K. LeValley, who died of cancer at age 12. Jack and Pat had 12 grandchildren.

Jack was employed as a rural letter carrier for the United States Postal Service for more than 30 years. He was a member of Christ the King Catholic Church in Dayton, and was a Life Member of the Elks. He was an avid golfer and fan of all Iowa Hawkeye sports. He served a term as president of the Dayton Golf and Country Club, and was a proud member of American Legion Post 323.

Jack and Pat were well known for their generosity and their home always was open to friends and neighbors who stopped by frequently. Jack was very proud of his garden, and gave away large amounts of tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables he had grown. Jack lived at the same corner at the north end of Dayton from the time he and Pat moved to town in 1946 until he moved to Grandview Care Center in 2010. In 1957, they built a new home on the lot.

Jack participated in - and loved - numerous activities, including the building of his home, woodworking in his shop, summer vacations throughout the United States and Canada, occasional hunting trips, camping trips, Boy Scout outings, and scoring a hole-in-one at the Dayton golf course. He did all of these and many other things without ever mentioning his "handicap."

His family knew Jack best as a loving father and a wonderful provider. They loved his outstanding sense of humor and his exceptional singing voice. Whether singing the "Iowa Fight Song" or "Chicken Ain't Nothin' But a Bird," while on the latest driving trip, Jack's presence filled whatever space he occupied.

Jack is survived by his four children and 11 grandchildren; a brother, Robert F. LeValley of Andover, Kan.; a brother-in-law Darl C. "Dusty" Miller of Bloomington, Ind.; four nephews, a niece, and numerous other family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Patricia; his daughter Janet; a grandson, Rex Bradley "RB" Kragh II; his parents and a first cousin, Joseph Trihey, who was raised with Jack as a brother.

Jack's family wishes to express its sincere appreciation to Jack's many friends in Dayton who have helped to support and care for him over the years, and to the wonderful professionals who cared for him in recent months at Grandview Care Center in Dayton, at Trinity Regional Medical Center in Fort Dodge, at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, and at Mercy Hospice in Johnston.