SAVANNA—John William Withhart, 94, died Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, at Manor Court in Freeport.

Cremation rites have been accorded. A celebration of life service will be held at the Savanna First United Methodist Church, to be announced at a later date.

Memorials may be given to the Savanna First United Methodist Church in John's memory. Condolences may be shared at

John was born July 8, 1925, in Savanna, the son of Fred C. and Margaret (Marth) Withhart. He graduated from Savanna High School with the Class of 1943. John married Ruth I. Plattenberger Dec. 18, 1944. Ruth died in 2013.

John William served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, from September 1943 to February 1946, aboard two troop transport ships, taking our troops over and bringing casualties back on the Pacific and prisoners back from the Atlantic side.

John then came home to become a partner with his father, Fred C., as the fourth generation at Withhart Meat Market in Savanna. When his father Fred retired, John purchased the business. John had the slaughterhouse and meat market until closing in 1970, and retired from Kayser Market at Lena in July 1986.

John enjoyed playing trumpet in school activities and the American Legion Band, led by Tony Miles of Mount Carroll. He was a member of the FFA in high school.

He enjoyed his Navy ship reunions of World War II and the five cruises they all had together. He also enjoyed traveling in his motor home for many years and seeing the USA. John loved shooting pool and playing cards with his many friends.

John was a member of the Savanna First United Methodist Church, the Savanna VFW and the Savanna American Legion.

John is survived by his sons, John Philip (Carol) Withhart of Denison, Iowa, and Benjamin Fred (Laurie) Withhart of Shoreview, Minn.; daughter, Connie Lou of Mount Carroll; niece, Dr. Ruth Fleishcer; nephew, David Fleishcer; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and nephew, Dennis Plattenberger.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Ruth; and sister, Mildred Fleishcer.