A celebration of Jonathan’s life will be held at Zion Lutheran Church, in Clinton, on Monday, Aug. 19, at 10:30 a.m. There will be a visitation held Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Camanche Chapel Snell-Zornig Funeral Home. Serving as honorary pall bearers will be Craig Lorenzen, Rich Jacobs, Charlie Watkins, Kevin Watkins, Rick Mangan, Willard Larsen, Dennis Schoening, Phil Roberts, and Joel Ehrig. A private family burial will be held at the Shaffton Cemetery later that day.
Jonathan Paul Shaff was born June 16, 1944, in Clinton, the first son of Paul and Myrna Shaff. Jon grew up very close to his grandparents, Heman and Esther, as they lived close by. He attended country school just across Sodus Creek from the home farm, and his grandmother, Esther, was one of his teachers. Jon was a farmer from the beginning, coming home from school and getting on a tractor most days. Jon farmed with his grandfather, his father and both of his brothers. He was very proud to have farmed for 51 years until he became ill in 2015. He was proud Linda helped him on the farm. Farming was more than a way of life; for the Shaffs it was a lifestyle, their identity. Jon truly loved the farm and did all he could to leave their farm a better place.
After the country school closed, Jon attended schools in Clinton and Camanche and graduated from the new Camanche High School with the class of 1962. He attended Clinton Community College for one year. In June of 1964, Jon married LeAnne Hood, the mother of his four children, Steven, Sue, Sara and Stacy. He later married Dianne Martensen. In February 1994, he married Linda Reed. They just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.
Jon loved life and embraced it boldly. He was always doing, always thinking, and always on the go, whether it was competing in an enduro motorcycle race in his younger years or riding up Pikes Peak several times on his street bike. He enjoyed planning, planting and harvesting his crops. Jon liked to compete in annual corn yield contests and attend the yearly Commodity Classic Conventions. He was known for helping out a friend or a stranger, and loved having coffee with his brother, Sam, and friends at the restaurant. He took pleasure in walking with Linda, and his daughter, Susie. Jon loved to teach his children and grandchildren. He loved giving gifts, taking family out to eat, and treating them to Dairy Queen, Whiteys, and Texas Roadhouse. Jon took several of his grandchildren to the Iowa State Fair annually, and went on many family vacations with his children and grandchildren. He loved to travel. He and Linda especially loved visiting Hawaii, Arizona and Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone holds special memories for Sue and Sara and their families. Jon and Steve enjoyed a common interest of tractors and vintage farm equipment, and Stacy and her family were blessed to have Grandpa Jon as their biggest fan at their sporting activities. He loved his children and grandchildren. He supported them endlessly, and he will be cherished forever.
Jon was a member of Zion Lutheran Church. He was a generous man of strong, quiet faith, and a huge heart. He believed his greatest blessings to be his family, farming and his friends.
Survivors include his wife, Linda, of Clinton; four children, Steve, of Sterling, Illinois, Sue (Tom) Proko, of Camanche, Sara (Mark) Berte, of O’Fallon, Missouri, and Stacy (Sean) Seeser of Camanche; Linda’s children, Lori Reed, of Jackson, Mississippi, Lisa (Kevin) Wagner, of Madison, Wisconsin, and Lance (Kalina) Reed, of Waverly; 14 grandchildren, Luke, Zoe, and Sophie Berte, Jane and Claire Kiester, Wilson, Carson, Emyrson, and Tyson Seeser, Kaleb, Kennedy and Lucy Wagner and Laken Reed and Payton Dauen. Jon is also survived by his first great-grandchild, Brynlee Kiester. He is also survived by a brother, Sam Shaff of Camanche; three nieces, special cousins, and his aunt and uncle, Margaret and Gerald Ehrig.
Jon was preceded in death by his grandparents; parents; a brother, Dan; and stepson, Mark Martensen.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be left to Zion Lutheran Church of Clinton, the Low Moor Lions Club or Genesis Hospice, who were wonderful.
Jon and Linda, more than anything, enjoyed being grandparents. We are really going to miss him.