|John was born in Nebraska City, Ne., son of John and Mertisha Rongish. His father passed away when he was only four years old. He grew up in a very loving family and was one of eight children. At a young age John and his family moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa. During the Depression years he went to work to help at home. In his teen years, he worked in a grocery store and became fond of meat cutting. He was a very good meat cutter and because of his great sense of humor and kindness to people he was very successful in the meat cutting and grocery business for many years.|
In 1941 he enlisted in the United States Navy and served on the USS Southard and USS Neshoba in the South Pacific during World War II until 1945.
In 1943 he met the woman of his dreams and in a whirlwind courtship married Inez Evelyn Moss with seven days of meeting her. They were married April 30, 1943, in Bellevue, Ne. at the oldest church in Nebraska. To this union were born seven children. These children received much love and strength from their Dad. He was always there for his family to rely on and his wisdom was greatly respected by his family.
Mom and Dad lived in Council Bluffs, where he had his own IGA store for awhile. It was a neat store. In 1954, the family moved to Wymore, Ne., where Dad worked for Safeway Store. Then in 1957, we moved to Beatrice where Dad bought a store. After a few years, we moved to Shelby where Dad owned his own store with his brother Ernie and operated the Rongish IGA Store.
During this time Dad became active in coaching baseball. These were some of his happiest years because he was able to work with young boys. He could always see the potential in every person and believed everyone should have the opportunity to use this potential. He was greatly respected and fondly remembered by these boys who stayed in touch with him long after baseball days were over.
Another joy in Dad's life was his grandchildren and what a great grandpa he was!! Again, his great sense of humor and his encouragement has been a blessing to his 12 grandchildren. Grandpa was always quick with a compliment and could always make you smile. Even as John's health deteriorated he still attended the special events in the lives of his children and grandchildren.
After selling his grocery business in 1968, he went to work as a salesman for Central Textiles dealing with softwares at most of the Gibson and Pamida stores. He made a lot of good friends while traveling around.
Dad passed away February 9, 1988, after a long battle with heart congestion. We LOVE and MISS YOU very much Dad. May God welcome YOU in the bosom of his heart. Dad is buried in the town he loved the best at Shelby Cemetery in Shelby, Ne.
Obituary for Dad from the Columbus Telegram, Columbus, NE
John L. Rongish, 67, of Columbus died Tuesday at Columbus Community Hospital.
Funeral services are 1 P.M. Friday at Gass-Haney Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Gary Price officiating. Burial is at Shelby Cemetery.
Mr.Rongish was born Sept. 1, 1920, in Nebraska City to John and S. Mertisha (Manley) Rongish. He attended schools in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
He married Inez E. Moss April, 1943, at Bellevue.
He owned a grocery business in Council Bluffs and Shelby. He moved to Columbus in 1969.
He was active in the Shelby baseball program from 1962-68.
He served in the United States Navy from 1941-45 as a gunner's mate and served on the USS Neshoba.
He was a member of the Shelby Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 6217 and Hartman Post 84 American Legion.
Survivors include his wife; three sons, John M. (Cheryl) of Omaha, Ernie C. (Gail) of Columbus and Jeffrey L. (Janelle) of Fort Collins, Colo.; four daughters, Gloria (Mrs. Douglas) J. Martinson, Pam and Mary L., all of Columbus, and Nancy A. (Mrs. Gary) Hernbloom of Shelby; two brothers, Charles Waugh of Council Bluffs and Ernie Rongish of Cresent, Iowa; one sister, Eva Waugh of Council Bluffs; and 12 grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by three brothers; one sister; and his parents.
Memorials may be given to the Shelby Baseball Association.
John was a Gunner's Mate 1/C and Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy from 1941-1945.
He served in the South Pacific on the destroyer "Southard."
Last Modified 23 Jul 2001 Created 28 Feb 2005 by Steve Smith