John Hayek, local lawyer dies


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A passionate lawyer, loving husband, and classic father.

Those were the words son Mayor Matt Hayek used to describe his father, John Hayek, who passed away at the age of 73 on Sunday.

The visitation will be at Lensing Funeral Service from 4-7 p.m. today with the funeral service being held at First United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. Friday.

John Hayek followed in his father’s footsteps as a lawyer and joined him in the profession Matt Hayek said he spent half a century pursuing.

“He took his profession seriously; he was a gifted trial lawyer in many specialties,” he said.

Not only was John Hayek known for his skill in the courtroom, he was also known for being a gentleman, regardless of which side of a case people were on.

City Attorney Eleanor Dilkes worked frequently with John Hayek for 25 years and was his neighbor as well.

Smart, reasonable, and a true advocate for his clients were some of the attributes she said he showed during his law career. Dilkes said that although he was a skilled lawyer, John Hayek was more than his career.

“The neatest thing about John was that he loved his wife,” Dilkes said, “It was very evident.”

Hayek served the community of Iowa City in many capacities by serving on numerous committees throughout the years.

Back home, Hayek enjoyed spending his time with family.

Matt Hayek said that his fondest memories of his father include the things he taught them to do, from how to drive a car in the snow to piloting the family boat on the Mississippi River.

“We loved tagging along with him as children, fishing on his boat, following him around the garage; he was just a classic father devoted to his family,” Matt Hayek said.

John Hayek was also an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Society in Iowa City since he was 12 years old.

The Rev. Steven Protzman, who will officiate Hayek’s funeral, said John Hayek was a noble and honest man.

“John loved his family very much, he was a hard worker,” Protzman said, “He was very honest and direct.”

Protzman said that John Hayek very much loved his church and was an active member since childhood.

Protzman said that during his funeral, a relevant poem by John Holmes will be recited.

“Death this year has taken men, whose kind we shall not see again.”

“Time will give us other men. But these were royal-hearted, rare.”

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