Des Moines

John Charles Burgeson passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, September 6, 2020. John was born on March 14, 1946, in Des Moines, Iowa, the son of Elmer and Dorothy (Colgan) Burgeson.

John grew up on the eastside of Des Moines and graduated from East High School in 1964. He attended Grand View College for two years and received his Bachelor’s degree in Business from Midland Luther College. After graduation, he returned to Grand View College and worked as an Admission’s Counselor. John proudly delivered the commencement address for the Class of 2005 at Grand View College and in recognition received an honorary doctoral degree from Grand View College. He continued his education and completed the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin.

John began his career in banking and finance in Salt Lake City, Utah. He started as a teller at Zions National Bank and then worked as a Stock and Bond Broker for E.F. Hutton. It was during this time that he met his wife, Colleen and they were married on December 27, 1979 in Salt Lake City. John and Colleen recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

In 1986, John began the acquisition of Iowa State Bank in Des Moines, Iowa. He served as owner for over 30 years and held the titles of President, CEO and Chairman of the Board. Under his leadership the bank has routinely been recognized as high performing, having a strong capital position and rated as Outstanding for CRA by the FDIC. During his tenure the bank has grown and been successful, but John was most proud of the employees of Iowa State Bank and their contributions to serving the community.

John was a pivotal leader in the revitalization of Des Moines’ East Village. As a pioneer for the area, John invested in the construction and rehabilitation of several of its buildings. He enjoyed seeing the vibrant neighborhood it has become. In 2003, he was appointed Chairman of the Gateway East Steering Committee by the City of Des Moines and later served on the West Capital Terrace Committee. John’s leadership on these committees resulted in the current vision and plan for the area today.

Throughout his life, John was an active member of the community and spent many years serving on various boards and committees. Some of those included, Board Member of the Downtown Partnership, President of the East High Alumni Association, Chairman of the Board at Grand View College, Board Member of Iowa Lutheran Hospital and Des Moines General Hospital, Board Member of the YMCA, Rotary Club Member and Board Member of the Iowa Automotive Heritage Foundation. John served for 15 years as a Board Member with EMC Insurance Companies and served as Chairman of the Finance Committee. He most recently served as a Board Member on EMC’s Charitable Foundation Committee. John received numerous honors and awards in his lifetime for his contributions to the community.

One of John’s life-long passions was cars. He enjoyed collecting them, attending car shows and talking about cars with his friends. He was one of the founders and biggest supporters of the Des Moines Grand Prix. He started a Garage Tour group with friends whose mission was to visit the best museums and garages to view prized automobile collections. John’s enthusiasm for cars resulted in many friends who shared his passion.

John was loved by so many friends and family and will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife, Colleen; daughter, Lauren (Cooper Lewis); son, John Christopher; nephew, Jeff (Melissa) Gunn; and his cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Dorothy Burgeson; and his sister, Karen Pugh.

There will be a private family burial and then a celebration of life held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of John to the Animal Rescue League, Blank Park Zoo or the YMCA. Condolences may be expressed at

Service Details

Celebration of Life at a later date
Private Family Burial
Hamilton's on Westown Parkway
3601 Westown Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
(515) 224-0078

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