John was born on the family farm in rural Tabor, SD to Ladislav and Lillian (Hamberger) Cimpl on April 23, 1923. He was educated in Tabor and graduated from Tabor High School. He served in the United States Navy from 1942 -1945. John’s service included time on the U.S.S. L.S.M 318, which was struck and sunk on December 7, 1944 in the Phillippines and for which John received a Purple Heart. After his naval service, John returned to Tabor and worked at the family grocery shop. On May 1, 1947 John married Darlene R. Freidel of Utica. In 1949 they moved to Yankton where John joined with his brothers Laddie and Jim to open Cimpl Packing Company, where John served as Vice-president and plant superintendent until the business was sold by the Cimpl brothers in 1988.
John was an active participant in local and state activities and organizations. He served as a director of the South Dakota Racing Commission and the State Board of Equalization. He particularly enjoyed his time as Director and Chairman of the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission. In the local community John was a volunteer fireman with the Yankton Fire Department, served as a member of the Yankton City Commission and also as a Commissioner for Yankton County. He was also active with the Yankton Chamber of Commerce, the Knights of Columbus, Hillcrest Golf and Country Club, the Yankton Elks Lodge, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Moose Lodge, the American Legion and Ducks Unlimited.
Golf, hunting and fishing were life-long interests of John and he was an avid follower of local sport teams. Above all, John was a man devoted to his family and his faith. He was a life-long member of Sacred Heart Church. He relished the time spent with his daughter and grandchildren, including fishing trips and pheasant hunting weekends. He had strong bonds with his six siblings and especially enjoyed the annual “brothers’ reunions.” Above all, John was devoted to his wife, Darlene and lovingly cared for her during her last illness.
During the final years of his life, John acquired a second family – the staff at the Country Neighborhood of Avera Sister James Care Center who cared for him with love and respect. In his typical fashion, he made new friends, both young and old, shared meals and stories and never lost his constant curiosity and zest for life.
John is survived by his daughter, Cindy (Tom) Bottini of St. Louis, Missouri and three grandchildren: Colette (Eben) Peck of Alexandria, Virginia, John (Sarah) Bottini of Atlanta, Georgia and Alex (Ryan Cornelius)Bottini of New York City, New York. He is also survived by five great-grandchildren: James Bottini, Henry Bottini, Charlie Bottini, Lucy Peck, and Stuart Peck. Other survivors include his brother, Don (Joan) Cimpl of Omaha, Nebraska and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Darlene; his parents; siblings and spouses: Laddie and Doris Cimpl, Angeline and Hayes Balvin, Leonard and Mildred Cimpl, Jim and Roma Cimpl and Manny and Millie Cimpl.
Memorials may be directed to Avera Sister James Care Center – Eden Fund, 501 Summit, Yankton, SD 57078 or Boys and Girls Club of Yankton, Attention: John Cimpl Memorial, 2008 Mulberry Street, Yankton, SD 57078.