John Michael Cruickshank

June 14, 1942 to July 19, 2019

John Michael Cruickshank, 77, of Keokuk, Iowa, died Friday, July 19, 2019, at his home. John was born June 14, 1942, at his family farm in Donnellson, Iowa, to John E. and Lois Janice Warren Cruickshank. John attended school at Donnellson High School where he graduated and was a four-year letterman in track, baseball and basketball. He then attended Keokuk Community College where he lettered in basketball. He worked at Sheaffer Pen Co. in Ft Madison and at Horner Box in Keokuk, Iowa.

John joined the Keokuk Police Department on June 15, 1966, serving as a patrolman for 31 years and retiring on June 15, 1997. He was awarded officer of the year two times. He was instrumental in organizing the Little Red Basket Fund. The group played five wheelchair basketball games to raise money for projects including Little Red Basket Christmas Party for handicapped kids, First Stop Halloween Party, and Tow Sawyer Fishing Derby. He was a member of the Iowa State Police Association, and Chiefs of Police Association. He was a long-time member of Southside Boat Club.

John was an avid collector of automobiles and classic cars. He and his wife, Debbie, traveled all over the United States attending shows and auctions and buying and selling things for his collection.

John is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Debra Lynn Mayer Cruickshank; two sons, Tim Cruickshank of Macomb, IL and Tom Cruickshank; five grandchildren of St. Marys, KS; a younger brother Steve and Jeanine Schoene Cruickshank of Donnellson, IA; two sisters-in-law, Kim Mayer Forest and Pam Mayer McGhghy of Keokuk, IA; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.

John was very proud of his heritage. His great great great grandfather, Alexander Cruickshank, came from Norway to Iowa in 1834. He crossed the Mississippi River at Puck-a-she-tuck and traveled inland to an area now known as clay Grove where he settled and built a log cabin. He hosted several of the chiefs of local Indian tribes including Chief Keokuk and Chief Blackhawk who was said to enjoy feeding young James, Alexander’s son, who was the first white child he had seen. James was the first white child born in Marion Township, Lee County, Iowa. When James died on May 27, 1920, at the AGE of 85, he was recognized as Iowa’s oldest native citizen. The Cruickshank clan is considered the oldest native-born family to live continuously in Iowa. John, at the time of his passing, was the oldest Cruikshank in this long line. The distinction will pass on to his younger brother, Steve of Donnellson, where it will end, as no other Cruickshanks are residents of Lee County.

A Celebration of John’s life will be held at the Hawkeye Restaurant in Keokuk, Wednesday, July 24, 2019, at 2:00 PM. A graveside service will be held at 1:00 PM at Oakland Cemetery. The register book will be available to sign at DeJong-Greaves Celebration of Life Center at 917 Blondeau Monday and Tuesday during normal business hours.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Bentley’s Park.

Online tributes and condolences may be entered at www.DeJongsfuneralhome.

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