Cover photo for John "JB" Bexten's Obituary
John "JB" Bexten Profile Photo
1962 John "JB" Bexten 2024

John "JB" Bexten

February 21, 1962 — May 16, 2024


John Gerard Bexten was born on February 21, 1962 in Denison, Iowa, the son of Joseph and Stella (Kloewer) Bexten. He was baptized and later confirmed his faith on March 20, 1973 at Sacred Heart Church in Manilla. John attended Manilla High School and graduated with the Class of 1980.

On September 17, 1983, John was united in marriage to Mary Ellen Gross at St Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Denison, Iowa. To this union, they were blessed with four children: Timothy, Michael, Elizabeth, and Amy. They made their home in Manilla.

After high school, John worked for his brother-in-law as a carpenter. After which, he worked various jobs in sales up until he was able to pursue his true passion, carpentry, full-time. He founded JB Construction in 2000. During this time, he was able to impart his knowledge of the trade to his two sons. 

His two sons joined the Boy Scouts leading him to volunteer as a dedicated Boy Scout leader for the community. He was even able to include his daughters on various Boy Scout camping trips. This love of the outdoors continued for his children throughout their adult lives. This led to fulfilling John's bucket list trip of returning to the Boundary Waters with his family in September of 2023. John and Mary Ellen were able to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary while on this memorable adventure.

John was a prolific reader and history buff. He enjoyed trivia and could access useless knowledge at the drop of a hat. He was also an avid golfer, fisherman, hunter, and passionate Cyclone fan who rarely missed a game. Many who know him may remember his constant companion, his beloved dog JJ. Whether on a job site, out on the golf course, or just around town, he was never far from his side. 

For John, telling a good joke was an art form; one he excelled at. He had that signature "JB laugh". His quick wit and sarcastic humor played a critical role in helping him and his family cope with his cancer diagnosis. His overall positive outlook, attitude, and strong faith is what helped him surpass his initial prognosis. This allowed him and his family to take full advantage of the time they were given and create lasting memories. 

He truly loved his wife, kids, and spending quality time with his 11 grandchildren, who gave him his proudest title, "Pop Pop". He was fortunate enough to live near his mother allowing him to enjoy frequent visits, often shared with other family members. He fought for every last moment with all of them. 

John passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at his home in Manilla, attaining the age of 62 years, 2 months, and 25 days. He was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Bexten; four infant siblings; nephews, Robbie Freund and Nicholas Jeschke; great niece, Harlow Schrage, mother-in-law, Donna Gross, and his dog JJ.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen Bexten of Manilla; children: Timothy Bexten and his wife Mallori and their children: Oakley, Porter, Quilla, and Ryker all of Derby, KS; Michael Bexten and his wife Cassie and their daughter: Quinn all of Boone; Elizabeth and her husband Matt Alexander and their children: Aubrey, Houston, and Sophie all of Templeton; and Amy and her husband Matt Blackwell and their children: Brynli, Hayden, and Harvey all of Manning; mother, Stella Bexten of Manilla; siblings: Jerry Bexten and his wife Karen of Omaha, NE; Jim Bexten and his wife Hilde of Woodbine; Anne and her husband Tim Knoblauch of Urbandale; Mary and her husband Mike Freund of Denison; Rose and her husband Brett Rold of Brayton; Joan and her husband John Neuner of Freeberg, MO; Patty and her husband Mark Mebruer of Lynn, MO; and Jeff Bexten and his wife Misty of Grand Island, NE; father-in-law, Mike Gross of Denison; sisters-in-law: Anne and her husband Kevin Jeschke of Chillicothe, MO and Kathleen Leitru and Galen Jesme of Merrill, IA; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Visitation with Family Greeting Friends will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 20, 2024 at Sacred Heart Church in Manilla. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 also at Sacred Heart in Manilla with burial to follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Manilla. Memorials may be directed to the family. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John "JB" Bexten, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation with Family Greeting Friends

Monday, May 20, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Prayer Service

Monday, May 20, 2024

7:00 - 7:30 pm (Central time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

10:30 - 11:45 am (Central time)

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