Date of Birth
Date of Death
John W. Almburg age 78 of Sugar Grove, IL died Saturday, April 12, 2008 at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana after four days of intensive care following a heart attack on Tuesday. John, a long time resident of Sugar Grove, was teaching auctioneering to a student group in Auburn, Indiana. Two EMTs attending the class immediately started CPR. Indiana State Senator Dennis Kruse, who is the Dean of the auction school, was there. Senator Kruse knew that John had no family in the area so he stayed with him until his family arrived from out of state. John never regained consciousness. He taught aspiring auctioneers for over 30 years and he died doing what he loved to do. John was born September 20, 1929 in Malta IL to Ludvick and Blanche (Walker) Almburg. He grew up raising livestock and grain on the family farm where five generations of Almburgs have lived. John graduated from Malta High School with the class of 1947 and from the University of Illinois in 1951 with a degree in agriculture. While in college he was a member of the livestock judging team that won the national livestock judging championship in 1950. He continued judging livestock throughout the Midwest for FFA and 4H shows. Following graduation from University of Illinois, John served in Korea with the veterinary corps, a branch of the Army, where he enlisted for 2 years. He married Donna Hewitt at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Rochelle on Oct. 23, 1955. Early in his career, he was a meat specialist with the national livestock and meat board in Chicago. He traveled the U.S. doing television shows about cutting,cooking and serving meat. He then served as the market reporter for the Chicago Union Stockyards and his reports were heard throughout the area and across the country on WLS Radio. He later accepted a position at WGN Radio’s Farm Service Department where he did the farm show with Orion Samuelson until 1968. For a short time he took a position at Aurora’s new television station WLXT, Channel 60. There he was Sports Director (and hired Tom Skilling at the tender age of seventeen). In 1960 he attended auction school at Repperts School of Auctioneering in Decatur, Indiana. While John "had a voice for radio" he is perhaps best known across the Midwest for the Almburg Auctioneering and Realty business. In 1968 he retired from radio work and devoted his full attention to the auctioneering and real estate business. During his lifetime John conducted thousands auctions and he donated his auctioneering time and talent to numerous causes over the decades. Most notably for over 40 years he was a livestock auctioneer at 4H auctions including the Kane County Fair, Big Rock Plowing Match and Elburn Days. John’s long career provided him the opportunity to sell the livestock from families spanning three generations. His engaging personality and sense humor made attending an Almburg auction a day of entertainment. At the time of his death John was still an active co-owner of Almburg Auctioneering along with his son Steve and grandson Andrew. In the last 15 years John was a frequent flyer to Scottsdale, Arizona during the cold northern months, and there he was a member of La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church.Despite his very active life and the numerous demands upon his time, he was first and foremost a family man. John is survived by his wife of 52 years Donna and their four children:Steve (Anne) of Malta, IL; Shelley Almburg of Dexter, Michigan; Shari (Jay) King of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Suzanne (Craig) Anderson of Sycamore, IL. He was extremely proud of his eight grandchildren:Andrew, Eric and Adam Almburg;Ryan, Amanda and Kellie King;Nicholas and Neil Anderson. He loved to attend their events and no place was too far to travel. He is survived by two brothers Fred of Malta, IL and Joseph (Phyllis) of Delavan Wisconsin,and John was called "Uncle" by their numerous sons and daughters.He was preceded in death by two sisters Lois Eike and Mary Phelps.John’s active social and professional life leaves behind many good friends at area coffee shops and among families and communities across the country- where thousands were simply proud to call him "friend". Visitation will be Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at Conley Funeral Home in Elburn, 116 W. Pierce Street, Elburn, IL. Remembering John as he lived, his family will welcome friends at the funeral home from morning until evening, exactly as they have at auctions throughout his life. Visitation will be held from 10 am until 8 pm. Private family funeral services will be held Thursday morning at Conley Funeral Home and John will be laid to rest at Sugar Grove Cemetery. MEMORIAL In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in John’s name to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and other favorite charities. Memorials checks may be made to the John Almburg Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and condolences may be mailed to the family at the same address or e-mailed through his obituary at www.conleycare.com.
Visitation will be Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at Conley Funeral Home in Elburn, 116 W. Pierce Street, Elburn, IL, from 10 am until 8 pm. Private family funeral services will be held Thursday morning at Conley Funeral Home and John will be laid to rest at Sugar Grove Cemetery.
MEMORIAL In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in John’s name to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and other favorite charities. Memorials checks may be made to the John Almburg Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and condolences may be mailed to the family at the same address or e-mailed through his obituary at www.conleycare.com.