Joseph R. McIlhon

Joseph Robert McIlhon, 32,  passed away at home on Friday, April 11, 2014.  A Rite of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church on Beaver Ave. in Des Moines, Iowa, with internment following at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines.  Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16, at Iles Dunn’s Chapel with a vigil at 7 p.m. and also one hour prior to the service Thursday. 

Joseph was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on March 31, 1982 to Joseph and Debra McIlhon.  Even as a child, Joseph was energetic and passionate about everything he did, always looking for ways to make his friends and family laugh.  He was quick with a joke or impression and never missed an opportunity to try and put a smile on your face. Joseph had a passion for music that blossomed when he sat down to a drum set at a music store in Cedar Falls and began playing so well that the store manager thought he’d been playing for years.  Joseph shared his love for music with anyone that would listen.  Joseph joined his first band at the age of 13 and continued to play with various bands over the years.

  Joseph graduated from Cedar Falls High School in 2000 and the University of Northern Iowa in 2006 with a degree in communications.  Joseph moved to Des Moines in 2006 where he continued his passion for playing music and working with people through his bands and job as a personal banker.  Joseph welcomed the birth of his daughter, Sydney Flynn McIlhon, on Dec. 13, 2011. 

Joseph’s word was “passionate.”   He was passionate about music and drumming, he was passionate about his love for his friends, family and daughter.  There was never a dull moment with Joseph; his enthusiasm and light were a blessing for all those that had the privilege to experience it. 

Joseph is survived by his beautiful daughter, Sydney Flynn McIlhon, and her mother, Holly Flynn; parents, Joseph and Debra McIlhon; sister, Molly (Tony) Fiddelke; and many, many aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends that will miss him dearly. 

Joseph was preceded in death by maternal grandparents, Robert and Doris Blitsch; maternal grandmother, Beulah Rockey; paternal grandparents, Daniel and Raymetta McIlhon; aunts and uncles, John McIlhon, Margaret Williams, Daniel McIlhon; and cousin, Andrew Ulrich. 

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Sydney Flynn McIlhon education fund at Wells Fargo.  Online condolences may be left at

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