Iowa Barnstormers vice president, COO John Pettit dies from complications related to COVID-19
A Cubs fan, the "flower lady," husbands, wives, and more are part of the more than 1,400 Iowans lost COVID-19 as of early October 2020. Des Moines Register
John Pettit, the chief operating officer and vice president of the Iowa Barnstormers, died from complications related to COVID-19 on Christmas Eve.
"John was one of the kindest men to ever live. If you knew him, you loved him — unless maybe you were trying to negotiate with him," Janice Pettit wrote in a Facebook post. "He left a mark on whoever he met. He treated strangers the same way he would treat his family. There are countless people who considered him a father figure or a best friend."
She said John was surrounded by his family and died peacefully.
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"We are devastated, and we are heartbroken," Janice wrote in the post. "We are strong though and truthfully that is only because John always gave us the security and confidence to be."
John served as the chief operating officer for the Barnstormers, the Des Moines-based professional indoor football team, since the team was brought back in 2008.
The Barnstormers' principal owner and president, Jeff Lamberti, also took to Facebook to share his condolences.
"As outstanding as he was in his professional life, he was an even better man with his family and friends," Lamberti wrote in a post on the Barnstormers' Facebook profile. "I take some small solace in the fact that I was lucky enough to have John in my life, and to be able to call him a friend."
Due to the circumstances, the family said they will not be having services at this time and will wait until a safer time. In lieu of flowers, the family asked for donations in Pettit's name to either the Puppy Jake Foundation, the American Diabetes Association or the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
Amber Mohmand covers breaking news for the Des Moines Register. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @ambermohmand.