The NBC4 newsroom lost a beloved friend and the city of Columbus lost one of its greatest champions on Monday, with the death of former reporter/anchor John Ivanic. John worked with us for nearly a decade until he left the newsroom behind in 2007 to work for then Columbus council member, Andrew Ginther. Most recently, John was the Assistant Director of Public Utilities for the city of Columbus, but he could have been called the unofficial mayor of the city. Everyone knew him and he was forever celebrating all that is good about Columbus. He loved the Crew, he loved the restaurants, he loved the festivals, and he loved the friends with whom he shared it all. He was a diehard Cubs fan and would eagerly bend your ear about his beloved alma mater, Northern Illinois University.
Those of us who worked with John appreciated his ability to uncover stories that were vital to the city’s interests and report them in a concise and significant way. But that is not the reason you were happy to see him walk into the newsroom. You just knew he was going to deliver a low-key but hysterical quip no matter the topic of the conversation. He shared the anchor desk with Monique Ming Laven, Amy Basista, Holly Hollingsworth and Candice Lee, and each of them today recounted his kindness and lasting friendship. Holly reminded all of us about the importance of keeping in touch with old friends. “Having learned in the last few hours that I won’t get another chance to chat with one of those old friends, I’m reminded how valuable those little moments are.”
John was part of my team from my very first days on City Council. He was smart, sharp-tongued, and funny. And, if you were lucky enough to call him a friend, you would know him to be generous, kind and fiercely loyal. Our team is devastated at his sudden loss, and our hearts go out to all of the NBC4 team that knew and loved John. It is a reminder that none of us are promised a tomorrow and we must treat each other with kindness and respect every single day. I will miss him personally and professionally.Mayor Andrew Ginther
John heard from dozens of friends on Sunday when he posted a year-old picture of himself in a hospital bed, happily marking the one year anniversary of heart surgery. He had taken a long walk and was grateful to be healthy, and grateful to those who loved him, writing “Thanks to all who helped/supported/encouraged during this journey.” He got dozens of loving replies. On the final day of his life he was celebrating friendship and connecting with people who mattered to him. Somehow, that feels right.
John was 52 years old and is survived by his longtime soulmate, Jenny Horn and two grown children.