John served in the European Theater during World War II as a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps and navigator of a B-17. He worked with the Red Cross while a POW/internee in Switzerland. After the war, Launius was a basketball coach at Morehouse High School and taught agriculture to veterans under the "G.I. Bill" in Bloomfield, while expanding his family farm, raising livestock as well as crops. For several years, he was a farm manager for Doane Agricultural Service and later started his own business, Launius Farm Management. He was of the Methodist faith, a member of the Elks, American Legion, and a resident of Bloomfield.
On Aug. 24, 1972, he was united in marriage to Therma Harget in Bernie. Mrs. Launius survives of the home in Bloomfield.
Besides his wife, other survivors include one son, Raymonda Webber of Dexter; four daughters, Anne Berbling of Sikeston, Cathy Kirby of Dexter, Mary Ann Armour of Poplar Bluff, and Theresa Lynn Brown of Bernie; 11 grandchildren, Mark Pratt, Mandy Pratt, Katie Pratt, Jonathan Berbling, and Neil Berbling, all of Sikeston, Chris Berbling of Olive Branch, Ill., Shelly Francis of Atlanta, Ga., Denise Brown of Bloomfield, Dennis Brown of Cape Girardeau, Tina Born of Evansville, Ind., Tara Webber of Dexter and Matt Webber of Clarksville, Tenn.; and eight great-grandchildren.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two sons, James L. Webber and Jeffrey B. Webber; two sisters, Janet Kidd and Onos Louise Launius.
Visitation was held from 5-8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, 2008, at the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in Dexter.
Graveside services were conducted at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008, at the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield with Rev. Susan Hoyle officiating.
Interment followed with full military honors.