NEPONSET — John Martin Golby, 82, of rural Neponset died at 12:15 a.m. Thursday, June 5, 2014, at his home.
John was born Sept. 20, 1931, in Kewanee, the son of John T. and Elizabeth(Larkin) Golby. He grew up on a farm south of Neponset, attended school in Neponset, graduating from Neponset High School with the Class of 1950. He then served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Japan during the Korean War.
In 1954, he married his classmate, Barbara Curran, and together they lived and farmed south of Neponset their entire married lives. She preceded him in death in May 2011. He was also preceded in death by his parents, a nephew, Tommy Anderson, and brother-in-law, Jack Barry.
John spent his whole life as a farmer and began milking cows when he was in the first grade. As an adult, he raised cows, hogs and sheep, as well as corn, oats and soybeans. In retirement, John also helped Jack Scott with his farming operation until his sickness in March. Even last fall, he worked many hours helping with the harvest and was looking forward to fieldwork this spring.
He was proud of his Irish heritage and was named after his father and his great uncle, Martin Larkin, who came from Ireland to live with the Golby family when John was growing up. John and Barb also traveled to Ireland and visited the Larkin relatives in 1996.
John loved everything about farm life. He also enjoyed the Neponset community and his many friends in Neponset and the surrounding area. He served on the Neponset Grade School board, and was a lifetime member of the Neponset Fire Department and Neponset American Legion Post 875. He was also a lifelong member of Visitation-St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Kewanee and a member of the Knights of Columbus through St. Patrick's Catholic Church.
He is survived by his children, Carol (David) Golby-Saunders of Roi Namur, Marshall Islands, Martin (Susan) Golby of Geneseo and Julie (Doug) O’Riley of Galva; eight grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Max, Curran and Dalen O’Riley of Galva, Kevin O’Riley, currently stationed in Japan, Lindsey Babcock of Morris, Amber Spain of Richmond, Va., and Christopher Fiems of Coal Valley; and two great-grandchildren, Ethan and Nathan. Also surviving are six siblings, James (Alice Ann) Golby and Patricia (Maurice) Yepsen of Kewanee, Regina (Roger) Anderson and Kate (Bernie) Cromien of Galva, Elizabeth “Wink” Barry of Sheffield and Sister Eileen Golby of Clinton, Iowa; a sister-in law, Dolores (Denver) Clark of St. Louis; and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 12, at Visitation Church, St. John Paul II Parish (former St. Mary’s Catholic Church) in Kewanee. Celebrant will be Fr. Johndamaseni Zilimu. Burial will be in Floral Hill Cemetery, Neponset, where military rites will be accorded by the Neponset American Legion.
Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 11, at the Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee where a rosary will be recited at 7 p.m.
Memorials may be directed to the Barbara Curran Golby Nursing Scholarship through the Black Hawk East College Foundation (in memory of his wife, Barb), Neponset Pride, Floral Hill Cemetery or to the Buda Rescue Unit.
This obituary may be viewed and private condolences left at www.ruxfuneralhome.com.