John Wittneben was born in Estherville, Iowa, on April 2, 1955 to parents Edna and Walter Wittneben. He has a brother, Jim, and a sister, Kathryn; all three were raised in Estherville and graduated from Estherville Senior High (now Estherville Lincoln Central). His parents were very active in the community and instilled in their children the value of helping others. John is also a proud uncle to his nieces Laura and Elle and nephew Tom.
John received his AA degree from Iowa Lakes Community College in 1975 and attended Iowa State University. He worked twelve years in the natural gas pipeline industry doing surveys and project completion packages and one year as an inspector at Seabrook Nuclear Power Station. He worked and lived in six states before returning to Iowa and becoming a Professional Licensed Land Surveyor in 1999. He has operated his own land surveying business, Wittneben Land Surveying, since 2001 and renovates houses when time permits.
John was appointed to the Estherville City Council in 2008 and elected to that position in 2009. He is a current Board Member and past President of Estherville’s Chamber of Commerce; current member and past President of the Estherville Rotary Club; a current member and past President of the Friends of Fort Defiance, which is a group of volunteers dedicated to improvements at the state park. He serves on the Good Samaritan Citizen Advisory Board in Estherville; and has served at the pleasure of the President since 2006 on the local Selective Service System Board. He is also an active member of the Emmet County Democrats and was a County and District delegate for the 2008 elections. He was awarded the 2007 Estherville Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award for all of his community service and volunteer work.
John greatly enjoys the outdoors as an avid hiker and backpacker, canoeist and downhill skier. He offers a disc golf introductory lesson through Estherville’s Parks & Recreation Department two or three times each summer and hosts the Disc Golf Tournament for Estherville’s Sweet Corn Days each August.