John H. Del Degan

John H. Del Degan, age 64 of Dubuque, Iowa, completed his earthly journey on July 25, 2020, at home, surrounded by his loving family.  To honor John’s life, his Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, September 27, 2020, from 12 noon until 5:00 p.m. at the Barrington Lakes Pavilion, 11342 Lakeview Drive in Dubuque.  All family and friends are welcome to join us and masks are welcome as well.  The Tri-State Cremation Center is humbly serving John’s family.


John was born on June 24, 1956 in Toronto, Canada, a son to Enrico and Wanda (Zamalo) Del Degan.  He earned his Bachelors of Science in Geology from the University of Waterloo in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada and did some prospecting and worked in an amethyst mine before moving to San Diego to begin the next chapter in his life.  It was there that he met his beautiful bride, Pamela Saylor, and the couple was united in marriage on September 28, 2002.  John has surely been called home much too early, but his years were thankfully abundantly full of all that is good in this world.  John was currently investing his working hours with John Deere Dubuque Works, but he had worked in IT for the majority of his working career, primarily with IBM, and PB & J Consulting.  But, anyone who knew John also understood that his heart always belonged in the field of Geology.  He was blessed to have had many adventures of being set free into the wilderness to scout for new formations with only the hope of weekly support being air dropped in along the way.  In earlier years he spent plenty of time in the dojo working on his martial arts and more recently was actively involved in supporting his daughter Rika, with her interest in English style horse riding and competitions.  Building computers brought some satisfaction to his days as well, and he gladly provided the entire family computer consulting and advice.  John lived his life to the fullest each and every day.  His commitment to his family was undeniable and playing the role of husband and father was not only what he was made to do, but truly where he shined the most.  John was a kind, gentle, genuine, and polished soul who understood that romance beat routine every day, and that sacrifice was as rewarding as facing any challenge which came his way.  The world is definitely a lesser place today without John’s effervescent energy connecting so effortlessly with everyone he encountered, and thankfully he has left us with an amazing collection of memories to treasure through the years ahead.  Thank you, John, for setting the bar so high and for continually role-modeling what a real man looks and acts like.  May peace from your earthly battles be yours now and may you be safely kept in the Lord’s loving arms until we meet again.  Job well done Thy good and faithful servant!    


Those left behind to cherish the memory of John include,


his loving wife and partner of 20 years,

Pamela Del Degan, Dubuque, Iowa;


his adored daughter,

Rika Del Degan, Dubuque, Iowa;


his siblings,

Maureen Del Degan, Toronto, Canada,

and Dan (Colleen) Del Degan, Seminole, Florida;


his sisters-in-law,

Mary (Richard) Meyer,

and Marilyn (David) McDermott;


along with numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, friends, and neighbors.


John was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, and mother and father-in-law.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John’s name to Hospice of Dubuque.


John’s family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at the University of Iowa, and Hospice of Dubuque for all of their professional and compassionate care.  Also, a very sincere thank you to Madonna Friedman, OSF, and all of our family and friends who have been so generous with their time, support, and endless efforts.  Your kindness has brought more peace into a difficult time than you could ever imagine.  May God bless you all for the parts you have played.  


Online condolences may be shared with John’s family at

Celebration of Life

Barrington Lakes Pavilion
11342 Lakeview Drive, Dubuque, Iowa, 52003
September 27th, 2020 from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

11 comments on “John H. Del Degan
  1. Maxi Bebber says:

    My heart and prayers go out to you Pam, Rika and families.
    He sounds like an amazing man, and I wish I had met him.
    May he rest in peace, and I know he left you with a life time of wonderful memories. May God bless and keep you.

  2. Anne and Steve Schmeider says:

    A beautiful statement for a very special man and our neighbor of seven years. John WAS the perfect neighbor and we were blessed to live next door to him. He will be missed by many. May God walk with you during these trying times. Anne & Steve

  3. Pam my heart goes out to you and Rika. This picture of John is certainly how I remember him, alway smiling. I feel blessed to have known him.

    Rachel Gerber

  4. Teresa L. Timmerman says:

    I worked with John at John Deere. He always had a smile on his face to brightened my day. He bought Gus, my St. Bernard puppy, a custom barrel collar with his name and my phone number on it! John was a giving person, had a giant heart and held tremendous integrity. Rest in peace.

    Teresa L. Timmerman

  5. Aggie Lammers says:

    Pam, I am so sad for you and Rika. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs and Love.

  6. Edythe Puls says:

    Pam and Rika, I was so sorry to read of John’s passing. I only met him a few times when I worked at the library but it was evident that he adored his family. He will certainly be missed by all who knew him. Sending hugs.
    Edie Puls

  7. Cathleen Lauer says:

    Pam & Rika – I am so very sorry to hear of John’s passing!! Regardless of the situation, John always quick with a fabulous smile and laughter. I remember him always volunteering to help others with work and/or community initiatives. We have lost a big heart and a great smile this week! May he rest in peace!

  8. Dan, Colleen, Mark and Colin Del Degan says:

    Our thoughts and prayers go out with sadness for the loss in Pam and Rika’s lives with the passing of John, a kind and gentle soul. John’s smile and thoughtfulness filled a room with warmth and kindness. I have fond memories of John and I growing up and his love of the outdoors. His passing will leave a void in all who knew him. Always in our hearts and memories John will be thought of with fondness and love.
    Rest peacefully John

  9. Jennifer Calvert says:

    I am so sorry to hear of John passing. He had such integrity and was always so kind. May he Rest In Peace.

  10. Lou Ann Hess says:

    Pam I am so sorry for your loss and losing our connection. I am trying to get your phone number. Love and Prayers for you and your beautiful daughter,God bless you both and be beside you at this sad time,

  11. Chris Waske says:

    Dear Pam and family

    I am so sorry to hear about John. He always had a happy face and gentle demeanor.

    Please know that I am holding you in my prayers.

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