February 24, 1979 – April 21, 2018


Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 am Thursday, April 26, 2018 at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, Long Prairie for John Jason Pesta, age 39, of Sauk Rapids, formerly of Long Prairie who passed away unexpectedly Saturday at the St. Cloud Hospital due to a pulmonary embolism. Fr. Omar Guanchez will officiate and burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Long Prairie. Family and friends may call from 4-8 pm Wednesday at St. Mary’s Church and one hour prior to services on Thursday. St. Mary’s Catholic Women will pray the rosary at 4 pm and Parish Prayers will be at 7 pm on Wednesday during visitation. Arrangements entrusted to Williams Dingmann Funeral Home – Stein Chapel, Long Prairie.

John was the son of John and Susan (Johnson) Pesta, born February 24, 1979 in Alexandria, Minnesota. He grew up in Long Prairie, attended St. Mary’s Elementary School and later graduated from Long Prairie-Grey Eagle High School in 1997. John shared many fond memories of growing up in the country, biking to town to lift weights, bailing hay with the neighbors, floating the river, reading and just spending time with his family. John loved his family and would always put family first regardless of the situation. He was incredibly generous with his time and would be the first person to help anyone in need.

John joined the Minnesota National Guard at age 18, attended North Dakota State University for a few years and returned to Long Prairie to work as the Readiness NCO for the Long Prairie Detachment- Delta Company Attachment -1 #434-MSB. In 2000, John was awarded a commendation medal for the Minnesota Soldier of the Year Award. In 2005 John began his career at Camp Ripley as the Electronics Repairmen and later took the position of Armament Inspector as well as start his five-year part-time job with the Long Prairie Ambulance as an EMT. As his employment at Camp Ripley continued to evolve, so did his career with the National Guard as he pursued the path to become a Warrant Officer. In 2005, John met Penny and from that moment on he knew he had met his future wife. From 2005 to 2007, John was deployed to Iraq with his brother (Jared), cousin (Travis Pesta), uncle (Tom Pesta), soon to be sister-in-law (Emily) and soon to be brother-in-law (Peter Jordt). Upon returning home, John and Penny were married on May 2, 2008 in Pensacola, Florida as part of a destination wedding attended by many family and friends. Their marriage was blessed at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel church. John and Penny loved to spend time doing activities and attending events with family, going to the lake, vacationing together, snuggling to watch their favorite shows, and just being at home to spend time with each other. His favorite evenings were spent with his family at home, grilling on the patio with a Miller Lite and an audio book playing in the background. He was an avid reader, and would sneak moments with his Kindle every chance he got. John was lovingly dedicated and actively involved with his three children. He cherished the time he got to spend with Abigail and loved watching her grow up, banter with her, playing the straight-faced game or telling her one of his many corny jokes; he loved to just be part of everything she did. He also loved watching all of Carter’s activities, including football, soccer, and especially wrestling. Katelyn was his “Daddy’s Girl” and he loved the times he got to snuggle and tease his little girl. John loved his family fiercely, and enjoyed cooking breakfast every Sunday morning.

John is survived by his wife, Penny, Sauk Rapids; children, Abigail, John Carter, and Katelyn, all at home; parents, John and Susan Pesta, Long Prairie; siblings, Sarah (Cody Hatton) Louden, Maple Grove, Jared (Emily) Pesta, Big Lake, Stephanie (Scott) Albers, Long Prairie, and Josh (Kali) Pesta, Long Prairie. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins. John was loved by many and will be incredibly missed by all his family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Jack & Lucille Pesta, and Clifford & Doris Johnson, uncle Charles Pesta and cousins Jay Stevenson and Samuel Pesta.