DES MOINES, Iowa – State Rep. John Landon, R-Ankeny, passed away on Thursday afternoon after a months-long battle with cancer. He was 71-years-old. He represented House District 37.
He was first elected to the Iowa House in 2012 and was serving his fifth term. During the 89th General Assembly served on the Appropriations, Local Government, and Transportation committees. Landon also chaired the Administration and Regulations Appropriations Chair.
Landon was born near State Center in 1950. He graduated from West Marshall High School and with a degree in agribusiness from Iowa State University.
Landon retired from a nearly 40-year career in the agricultural business. He is a Vietnam veteran who served in the Navy Seabees prior to graduating from Iowa State University. Landon was a follower of Christ and served as a deacon at Cornerstone Baptist Church. Landon is survived by his wife Marvis and children Eric and Morgan, and grandchildren.
“With great faith, we know that he was received into Heaven as a good and faithful servant,” she wrote. “He fearlessly knew that God has a plan for him. We will profoundly miss our husband, father and grandfather until we see him again,” his wife Marvis wrote on Facebook.
Gov. Kim Reynolds remembered Landon in a statement on Thursday evening.
“When John spoke, people listened. He was known as a trusted, genuine, caring person always willing to put others before himself. During his time in the Iowa Legislature, he brought his strong convictions and work ethic to the job every single day. I have always admired John as someone who will put in the work to get the job done. My deepest condolences go out to his wife, Marvis, his family, and a community that is grieving the loss of this incredible man,” she said.
Legislative colleagues remembered his service.
“Today, we lost a dear friend and dedicated public servant in Representative John Landon. The Iowa House and House District 37 were fortunate to have someone so dedicated to his work all the way until his final day. As far as public servants go, John was the very best of us,” Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, wrote on Twitter.
“Rep. Landon was a committed public servant and a good, kind man. His family is in my thoughts and prayers as they remember him and mourn his loss,” Iowa House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst, D-Windsor Heights, said in a statement
“Iowa lost a truly great person and great American with the passing of my friend, Representative John Landon. John was a true patriot who put his country, state, community, and family first. Serving alongside John in the legislature to represent the Ankeny area has been a great honor. He was universally respected for his honesty, his integrity, and his work ethic. While John was a great legislator, he was an even better husband, father, and grandfather. Please join me in praying for Marvis and the entire Landon family,” Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, said.
“I will be keeping the late John Landon and his family in my thoughts and prayers — while we did not always agree on every issue, he was an honorable and thoughtful man and will be missed by all,” Iowa Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls, D-Coralville, wrote on Twitter.
“Today, my friend State Representative John Landon passed away. John was a phenomenal man and a great example of a public servant. He modeled in his words and actions his belief in all of us and worked to make lives better. Please join me in sending prayers to his wife, Marvis, and the rest of their family,” State Rep. Garrett Gobble, R-Ankeny, wrote on Facebook.
“Sad to hear about the passing of Rep. Landon. He was always down for a good laugh and represented with pride. Rest in heaven,” State Rep. Ras Smith, D-Waterloo, tweeted.
“The Iowa House and the state of Iowa lost a wonderful man today. Early in my campaign last year I asked Representative John Landon and his wife Marvis Landon lots of questions. John always made things look easy and I learned a lot from him. Unfortunately we found about his diagnosis on January 1, just before session started. When he had strength, John would still come in and vote from an isolated area, and received a huge standing ovation when he presented one of his bills. He was a trooper and fighter to the end. Love you sir! We’ll be praying for your family,” State Rep. Eddie Andrews, R-Johnston, said on Facebook.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig also remembered Landon.
“Saddened to hear of Rep. Landon’s passing After spending a career in ag, John brought a unique perspective to his work in the Legislature serving the people of Ankeny and looking out for IA farmers Sending prayers to his wife, Marvis, and their children and grandchildren,” he tweeted.
Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann said he was heartbroken over Landon’s loss.
“He treated every he met with respect and kindness, compassion and a friendly smile. Despite battling a debilitating sickness this past session, he fought with grace, humility, and political courage,” he said. “John was a hard worker, dedicated public servant, and committed conservative, for sure. But his greatest accomplishments were that of a loving husband and proud father.”
Landon’s visitation and funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.