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John M. Locher
(May 19, 1937 - November 10, 2013)

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John M. Locher

Obituary announcement

Dateline: Sherrill

John M. Locher of Sherrill, Iowa and formerly of Farley, Iowa died on November 10, 2013 in Boynton Beach, Florida after a sudden illness at the age of 76 years old.

Friends and relatives of John may call from 2 to 8 p.m., Friday, November 15, 2013 at the Reiff Funeral Home in Farley, Iowa, where a wake service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Friends may also call after 9:00 a.m., Saturday, November 16th at St. Raphael’s Cathedral on Bluff Street, Dubuque, Iowa.

Services for John will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, November 16, 2013 at St. Raphael’s Cathedral with Rev. Daniel Knepper Presiding. Burial will be held in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Farley, Iowa.

John was born on May 19, 1937, the son of Lawrence R. Locher, D.D.S. and Marie M. (O’Meara) Locher, R.N. John was the youngest of six children. He attended grade school and high school at St. Joseph’s School in Farley, Iowa. John received a degree in history from Loras College in 1959. He graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1962. John married Mary M. Fessler, also of Farley, on February 3, 1962, at St. Joseph’s Church in Farley, Iowa.

John enlisted in the United States Army Reserve, 389th Engineer Battalion in Dubuque, Iowa where he served from 1962 until 1968, reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant. While serving in the Army, John taught high school at St. Francis Xavier School and later at Western Dubuque High School from 1962 through the late 1960s. While teaching school and serving in the Army Reserve, John founded his law practice in Farley, Iowa in 1962. John continued to practice law from 1962 until his retirement in 2005. During his career, John served many years as the city attorney for the cities of Farley and Asbury and also donated his time for several nonprofit organizations, including the Farley Fire Department, Sherrill Fire Dept and Farley Industrial Development, Inc. John was most proud of helping individuals. He believed that the practice of law was about helping people. While helping his clients, he became their friends. In retirement, he often talked about the friends that he made while practicing law.

John was a people person and was always quick with a smile and always had time for a chat or a story. John had many personal interests outside his career in law. He served as a charter member of the Dubuque County Planning and Zoning Board, he served on the Archdiocese of Dubuque Board of Education Ad Hoc Committee, and served on the board of directors for St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Camp Albrecht Acres of the Midwest and for the Stonehill Franciscan Care Center for many years. He enjoyed the outdoors, gardening, boating and traveling. John had visited all parts of the world and most recently traveled to China and India. He was an avid reader and enjoyed classic Hollywood movies. He enjoyed attending symphony and opera performances. John collected antiques and classic cars, and still owned his first car – a 1930 Ford Model A Roadster. John was an avid Hawkeye football fan, enjoying many years of season football tickets and several Hawkeye bowl appearances.

John was a great family man. He and Mary loved one another dearly and shared many common interests. In retirement, John and Mary spent all of their time together. John was a loving father and taught his children the value of hard work and honesty. He was proud of his children and the fact that all three followed his footsteps in the practice of law. He was a wonderful grandfather and enjoyed activities with his grandsons, like boating, fishing and sharing stories of his youth. John attended many of his grandsons’ baseball games, football games, horseback riding lessons, martial arts events, school plays and school concerts.

John is survived by his wife, Mary; daughter, Michelle and son-in-law, Robert Ziff, and their children Caleb Ziff and Jonathan Ziff; son Todd, and daughter-in-law, Caryn, and their children, Jacob, Aaron and Gabriel; and son Eric and his fiancé, David Nava. John is survived by four siblings; Catherine C. Curphy, Thomas L. Locher, James A. Locher and Jane M. Locher, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Lois M. Buckley. Memorials are preferred to Camp Albrecht Acres of Sherrill, Iowa or Hills and Dales of Dubuque, Iowa.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at


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