Cover photo for John Anthony Cervantes's Obituary
John Anthony Cervantes Profile Photo
1938 John 2023

John Anthony Cervantes

June 1, 1938 — May 9, 2023

John was born in Vanora, Kansas on June 1, 1938, and raised in El Dorado, Kansas. He was an avid sports enthusiast. As a Kansas University alumnus, he became a passionate Jayhawk fan. While he lived in Fairbury, NE, John played softball with St. Michael's adult league for many years, spent time as a coach for the school's basketball teams, and one of his favorite hobbies was being a projectionist at the Bonham Theatre.

In 1960, John entered the United States Air Force (USAF) as Airman 3rd Class, and began his training at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB) in Texas toward his goal of becoming a physical therapist. He attended the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland to become certified as a Physical Therapy Technician by 1961. John continued his medical training at Gunter AFB in Alabama in 1964. After his first term of service was completed, John re-enlisted in 1964. He attended the Non-commissioned Officer Preparatory School at Altus AFB in Oklahoma; being promoted to the rank of Staff Sargeant by 1966. John was assigned to the Medical Group at Clinton-Sherman AFB in Clinton, Oklahoma as a Physical Therapy Specialist/Medical Assistant for two years. He served at Anderson AFB in Guam for two years, followed by Sawyer AFB in Marquette, Michigan for one year. John was Honorably Discharged when his term of service ended in 1968. John received credit through Butler County Community Junior College (BCCJC) for the General Education classes he completed during his Air Force service from 1963-1968 at Southwestern State College in Oklahoma, College of Guam, and Northern Michigan University. He completed the final credits required toward his degree at BCCJC in El Dorado, Kansas by 1969. John went on to attend Wichita State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree in 1971, and the University of Kansas Medical Center where he earned a degree in Physical Therapy in 1972.

John spent his career helping others as a Physical Therapist in Kansas and Nebraska. He started working at Jefferson Community Hospital in Fairbury, NE in 1979, followed by the Beatrice State Developmental Center in Beatrice, NE, until he retired in 2011 at the age of 73.

John spent his last few years at the Louisville Care Center in Louisville, NE, where he enjoyed many visits with his family, including window visits during the pandemic. In 2021 John moved to the Heritage Care Center in Fairbury, NE, where he was lovingly watched over by his daughter Monica, RN, who worked there. His days were brightened by frequent visits with his daughter's chihuahua, Poppy. He loved getting kisses from her and having her as his nap time buddy (Poppy, not his daughter ߘ‰). John passed away after a brief illness on May 9, 2023 at the age of 84 at Heritage Care Center.

John was a hard-working father to eight children: Maria (Tim McHugh), John II (Katy), James (Amanda), Monica, Joseph, Jacob, Marissa, Jason; a proud grandfather of twenty grandchildren: Sinéad, Rebecca (Tim Gisi), Caitlin, Sarrah, Isabel, Alyssa, Thomas (Sarah Southerland), Matthew (Maggie), Paul, Aubrey, John III, Shelby, Jacqueline, Isaiah, Faith, Noah, Damian, Phoenix, TaLeia; and 2 great-grandchildren: Michael, Evangeline.

John is survived by Alicia, mother of his children; siblings: Rachel (Gomez), Andres "Jr." (Beverly), Robert (Cecelia), Mary (Fred French), and Lorenzo (Jolene). John joins his family preceding him in eternal rest: parents Andres and Esperanza "Hope" (Sepulveda); siblings Carolyn, Enrique "Henry", Charles; brother-in-law Tony Gomez; granddaughter Gabrielle.

In lieu of flowers, John's family requests that you consider a donation in his memory to the Special Olympics of NE, or your state chapter, in honor of his daughter Marissa.

Family will hold a private service on June 17th at the Cedar Dale Cemetery in Papillion, Nebraska where his remains will be laid to rest.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Private Family Services

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 16

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors