SYRACUSE – John Edward DeSomer, of Syracuse, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at home.

He was born on Feb. 26, 1947, in Joliet, Ill.

During a 20-year career as an Army ranger, John served his country through multiple deployments in Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Israel, Nicaragua, Columbia, Venezuela, Syria and Afghanistan (at least those were the ones about which he was willing to share stories about).

On one reconnaissance mission, he was captured and tortured, bearing the scars for the rest of his life. On another, his back was broken on a parachute jump. He carried shrapnel in his back until the end of his life. John was awarded four Purple Hearts and eight Bronze Stars. Most of us cannot imagine the sacrifices he made, nor can we thank John enough for his service.

After his school career, which included much success playing football, running track and wrestling, John graduated from high school in Knox and joined the Army.

After his first tour of duty, he decided to re-enlist and make a career out of military service, rising to the rank of captain. He eventually trained as a respiratory therapist, working at several prestigious university hospitals, such as Syracuse, University of Chicago and South Carolina. He retired from providing home care services for The Pill Box Pharmacy in Warsaw.

John was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy; and three brothers, Jim, Jerry and Jay.

He is survived by sisters-in-law, Ann Cavender and Judy DeSomer (Tom Freel); several nieces and nephews; and his adopted family of Renee Hursey (Curt, Julie, Bailey, Baylor, Samantha, Jason, Jase and Shay).

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Eastlund Funeral Home, Syracuse, with calling one hour prior. Pastor Brad Cox will officiate.


Memorials to The Black Pine Sanctuary in Albion or to Wounded Warriors and Disabled Vets.