John Robert Alley

Born: Thu., Mar. 21, 1946
Died: Sat., Jan. 26, 2013


4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Wed., Jan. 30, 2013
Location: North Webster

Funeral Service

7:00 PM Wed., Jan. 30, 2013
Location: North Webster

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John Robert Alley, 66, of North Webster (formerly of Elkhart, IN) passed away among family and loved ones at 1:28 p.m. on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at his home after an extended illness. He was born on March 21, 1946 in Anderson, IN to the late John C. & Elsie (Harrell) Alley.

He was raised in Pendleton, IN and graduated in 1964 from Pendleton High School. In 1968 he received his BA degree in Industrial Arts & Physical Education from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN & in 1970 from Ball State University in Muncie, IN with a Master’s Degree in Education. On June 29, 1968 in Pendleton, IN he married Rita Kay James who survives. He has been coming to Tippecanoe Lake and the North Webster area since he was 7 years old.

He began his teaching career in 1969 with Elkhart Community Schools and retired from there in 2009 after 40 years of service. His fondest memories in life was being the head wrestling coach for 25 years, coaching at Brookdale Jr. High School from 1970 until its closing in 1984 and at Elkhart Central High School from 1984 – 1995.  At that time he decided to move on and enjoy his lake home more.

In 1994 he was one of the co-founders for setting up the Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education (I.C.E.) program for Elkhart Community Schools. Now there are many doctors, lawyers, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, veterinarians, as well as other occupations that Elkhart community businesses helped John by hiring the students during their senior year in those fields to see if that was their goal in life.

He was a member of the ISWA, AAU Freestyle Wrestling, Elkhart Rotary, and received the Key to the City from Elkhart Community Schools. He was named the 1994 State Association Co-op Coordinator of the year and served as president in 1995.

John was loved and known for “summer time at the lake” by his 14 Nieces & Nephews and 16 Gt. Nieces & Nephews residing all over the country.

He is also survived by:
Wife – Rita Alley of North Webster
Daughter – Amy Kay (Jon) Steiner of Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota
Son – Robert John “Bob” (wife, Jamie) Alley of Elkhart
6 Loving Grandchildren who they called “Pap” – Michael & Nicholas Holdread, Brandon & Kayla Alley, & Sydney & Hunter Dolson.
4 sisters – Julane (Vic) Shepard, Judy Alley & Jane (Benny) Sabie all of Pendleton & Sue (Jim) Kendall of Winter Haven, FL
Brother – Tom Alley of Pendleton

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Joan Ice.

Visitation will be from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at Owen Family Funeral Home, 8056 E. 500N (St. Rd. 13 & CR 500N), North Webster, IN. Funeral services will follow at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday in the funeral home with Rev. Claude Creel of the Huntsville Good Shepherd Church in Pendleton officiating. Private family burial will take place at a later date.

Memorial bequest may be given to the donor’s choice. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

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Condolence Booklet

Richard & Kym Owen
   Posted Sat January 26, 2013
To the entire Alley family,

May each of you find courage to face tomorrow as you rest in the knowledge that we truly care about each of your needs and we will walk beside you in your journey of grief.

Richard & Kym Owen and the Staff of Owen Family Funeral Home

Steve Conrad
   Posted Sun January 27, 2013
Hi Rita,
I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. Mom was waiting in the driveway when we got home from church this morning to let me know. Dad, Mom, Laura, and I are so sad for you. I don't have any special words to say that will make the pain go away, however I do want to say we love you.
Steve Conrad

Bob and Janet Conrad
   Posted Sun January 27, 2013
Dear Rita,

We just learned of John's death and can only imagine what you are all feeling. We want you to know we are praying God will somehow comfort you and family.

Susan Parkhurst
   Posted Mon January 28, 2013
Mr. Alley will be greatly missed. He was wonderful working with the children he brought to our office as interns. Please accept our deepest sympathies. His friends at Stutsman & Mulvaney Law Firm.

Jimmy's restaurant
   Posted Mon January 28, 2013
Rita we are so sorry to hear of the loss of John god speed and prayers to you and your family. John will be missed by many !
With deepest sympathy
Jimmy, Sheila, and Staff

Phil and Barb True
   Posted Mon January 28, 2013
Dear Rita

So very sorry to hear about John. He was one of the good guys in this world. His sense of humor was outstanding and his way of helping his students and everyone else he knew was amazing. He will be greatly missed. Take care of yourself. aia hope to see you again some day.

Still love you
Barb and Phil

Anita Gorden
   Posted Mon January 28, 2013
Please know that at Elkhart Central, your family is in our thoughts and prayers. John was a fun "guest" speaker for my Career class - and I still laugh remembering way he told the kids the only fair thing in life is in Goshen, the last week of July. Anita

Robert Linn
   Posted Mon January 28, 2013
Rita, I know of no greater pain in my life than the loss of John and cannot nearly come close to expressing my sorrow to you in loosing your best friend. The memories of sharing him with you and the kids remains with me always; from days out at the campground, bailing hay, repairing roofs, and all the countless wrestling meets, to sharing many meals together, my life would have never been the same without both of you. Just this past Saturday, while talking to a friend about all that I have done and of all the places that I have been, reflected, as I do often, that I shutter to think of the possibility of how my life would turned out if it were not for John. May you soon find peace.
Robert Linn

"Those we love don't go away,
They walk beside us everyday,
Unseen, unheard, but always near,
Still loved, still missed and very dear."

Mark Fioritto
   Posted Mon January 28, 2013
To the Entre John Alley Family

My condolences to all of you. John was a wonderful man and coach that influenced numerous student athletes in Elkhart. You will never know how many lives he touched and influenced with his coaching and teaching. He will be missed.

Mackenzie Dorgan
   Posted Mon January 28, 2013
Rita, Michael, and Alley Family,

I am so sorry to hear of John's passing. He was a good, strong man.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.


Julie c. Hook
   Posted Tue January 29, 2013
So sorry to hear of John's passing. Heaven has a great teacher to sit at the right hand of God. He was an inspiration to so many over the years. He will be missed, but not forgotten. Rest in peace, John.

John and Diane Lucchese
   Posted Tue January 29, 2013
Our condolences to your family. I had John for Industrial Arts at Brookdale and my 2 sons had John for their Internship Programs at Elkhart Central. All great memories. John and his humor will be missed.

Terry Longbrake
   Posted Tue January 29, 2013
To the Alleys,
Just heard about your dad. I'm sorry. He was a great guy, I have many fond memories of wrestling for him. Not since the days of Brookdale has there been a more dominant wrestling program in Elkhart. RIP Mr. Alley. ~Terry

   Posted Tue January 29, 2013


Pat Hochstetler Lindsey
   Posted Tue January 29, 2013
Dearest Rita, I am so sorry to hear about John. You two were great influences on my life and I have many great memories of our campground days, rod runs and just being together. Remember when John showed me how to change my shock absorbers? I was grease from head to foot! I know I haven't seen you in years but miss you terribly. You are in my thoughts and prayers, and Amy and Bob too, they were so small when I last saw them. I am thinking of you!

Helen Mankey
   Posted Tue January 29, 2013
So sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. Will remember all the good times we had at wrestling tournaments. God be with you.
Love you,

Phil and Gretchen Morris
   Posted Tue January 29, 2013
Judy, Sorry for the loss of John. Just to let you know we are thinking of you and the rest of your family.

Phil and Gretchen Morris

Tim Gray
   Posted Tue January 29, 2013
John was my 7th grade teacher, my mentor, my next-door-neighbor, and most of all, my friend. I will miss him.

Bill Wagner
   Posted Tue January 29, 2013
A truly good man, huge heart, very understanding, and not one bit of phoniness. Thank you Mr. Alley for all you taught me!

   Posted Tue January 29, 2013
Very sadden to find out I lost a fellow teacher, wrestling coach and friend. I know he was a wonderful family man. May the family pain be healed by the wonderful memories

I am very sadden to learn of the loss of my fellow teacher, wrestling coach, and friend. May the families pain be softened by their wonderful memories of John and GOD'S grace.

Sincerely, Al Reames

Brent and Cheri Lea
   Posted Tue January 29, 2013
Dear Rita, Amy, and Bob,

We were so sorry to hear about your loss. John was a great man. We were talking about you guys and "the wallaby" recently. We talked about the great competitions we had, the freestyle meets, Rita (the veteran) teaching Cheri (the rookie) about wrestling, the great times we had after those freestyle meets, and driving to the lake in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere. Cheri will never, ever be the first one to go to sleep again in a group-get-together , ha, ha, ha....

Marc, our oldest son, called us tonight to inform us of John's passing in case we had missed it. He still remembers when John let him (a future Charger) and me attend his wrestling camps at Central in the spring .and being able to change clothes where the coaches dressed. John touched so many lives and influenced so many people. You have our love and support, God bless you.

Bob and Mary Smith
   Posted Tue January 29, 2013
Dear Rita, Bob, Amy and family,

We were very sorry to hear of your loss. May John rest in peace.
John was a man of great integirty and made a difference for many students. His DASH was huge.
I know our daughter Kim really enjoyed knowing the whole family as many others did also.
Hugs to all.

Tom Pavoni
   Posted Wed January 30, 2013
Rita, I'm so sorry for your loss. I don't know if you remember me, but we always talked when I purchased tickets. I'm also a friend of John and Pat Berkey. Please accept my sincere sympathy for your loss.

Tom Pavoni

Cynthia Stoops
   Posted Wed January 30, 2013
Rita, I was so surprised to read about John in the Truth. He was a great man and loved by many. Our years at Central were priceless. Also let Amy know how sorry I am for your family's loss. You all are in my prays.

Cynthia Stoops

Brian Saal
   Posted Wed January 30, 2013
To the Alley Family,
Coach Alley taught me everything about wrestling and a lot about life. He provided me with a lot of support and encouragement at a time when it was most appreciated. He challenged me often but I always knew that he believed in me and wanted me to succeed. For that I am very grateful.

I also know that he made a difference in the lives of many young men and women over the course of his teaching career. His efforts are a great example for all of us.

You have my deepest sympathy for your loss and my best wishes for your family.

Brian Saal – Elkhart Central – ‘94

Jennifer Griffin
   Posted Wed January 30, 2013
Bob & Family,

Sending my sincere condolences to you during this difficult time. Mr. Alley was an amazing teacher during my time in the internship program at Elkhart Central and an even better person. His humor will be missed by all.

Ron & Fran Cox & Family
   Posted Wed January 30, 2013
Rita and family, May your heart find healing in cherished memories. We are going to miss our good buddy down the road at the lake. John was a great family man and friend. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

Ron, Fran & sons

Gary & Barb Wright
   Posted Wed January 30, 2013
Amy, Jon, and family,

We just wanted to say how very sorry we were to hear of your father's passing, Amy. We felt like we knew him, from all you had shared with us years ago. That was such a wonderful write up in The Elkhart Truth! We are thinking of you all at this difficult time.

Gary and Barb

Susan GInther, Presentation Products
   Posted Wed January 30, 2013
Dear Rita and Amy
So sorry to read John's obituary when I opened the paper yesterday. He was so great with our ICE interns. So down to earth and practical about the world in general - with some wit thrown in! Easy to work with from an employers' view and he sure loved the kids, and took such pride when they did well. (And he was there to offer a guiding hand when they did not.) I am glad that I had the chance to know him and learn from him.
My heart goes out to you all. I will kept you in my thoughts and prayers.
Susan Ginther

Fred G. Miller & Jimmy
   Posted Wed January 30, 2013
Rita, Amy & Bobby
Our hearts go out to you at this time of sorrow. So very sorry to hear of Johns passing. Please accept our sincere sympathy and prayers. We also send our condolences to the entire Alley family.

John and Lorene Wells
   Posted Thu January 31, 2013
Rita and family:
We were so sorry to read of John's passing in the paper. He was a great neighbor and friend and we know that he will be greatly missed.

Lester Perry
   Posted Thu January 31, 2013

My thoughts are with you and your family. John and I had some interesting conversations over the years.

Mike Hanna
   Posted Thu January 31, 2013
I grew up with John in Pendleton during the 60's and knew him well at Inidana State. He was an over-achiever and a big part of the Pendleton High School wrestling program that had recently started in the early 60's.
It continues today to be one of the priemier wrestling programs in the State. He was a big part of their success. Great guy and he will be missed.

Mike Hanna
Pendleton High School 1963

Stephen Neff
   Posted Fri February 01, 2013
Hello Rita,

You may or may not remember me, I was one of John's TKE brothers at ISU. I was saddened to learn of his passing. He was one of the guys we could always count on.....whether it was a fraternity campus review or on a athletic field or court....John was always a force and was there when most of those guys who you were always glad he was on your side. I hope all is well with you and yours.