Ralph John Lurkens, 67, passed away Tuesday, April 8, 2014.
He was born April 20, 1946, in Anamosa, Iowa, to Helen Aschtgen and John Fredrick Lurkens.
John grew up on a dairy farm in Martell, Iowa. The brothers would horseback ride for hours, gaining the skills for the local rodeos. Driving tractors eventually led to fast cars at the speedway. John attended Iowa State University, where he studied business. While coaching the women’s softball team, he met and fell in love with his first wife, Cynthia DeVilder (1948-1998). They married in 1977, and had an adventurous life.
John went to work for Performance Contracting Inc., and worked throughout the U.S. decommissioning and refurbishing nuclear sites. He was the project manager for various sites across the country. He worked at the Hanford nuclear site that helped produce the A-bomb. He was their “golden boy” problem-solver. His thought process was often out of the box, but always productive.
John was an avid golfer, and played in tournaments across the U.S. He attended the Masters, and could recall stats, rules and regulations at the drop of a tee. He was inspired by the great Payne Stewart.
John is survived by his wife, Dianna Lynn Lurkens; son, Shawn (Naomi) Lurkens; grandchildren, Taylor and Johnathan; sisters, Joyce (Dennis) DeMorest, Phillis Arnold and Carol Eastman; extended family members, Mellissa Stagliano, Barbara Stagliano and Jessica Stagliano; and grandsons, Keigan and Raymond.
A celebration of John’s life will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at Twin Isles Country Club, 301 Madrid Blvd., Punta Gorda, Fla. No black clothes or tears allowed! Bring your best stories of John’s antics. Donations may be made to The First Tee Foundation, in care of Steve Baich of Twin Isles Country Club.