John M. Wozniak, Ph.D, age 97, of Skokie, a professor and dean at Loyola University, a 35-year member of the Skokie Public Library Board, a 2006 recipient of the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award and a WW2 veteran of the U.S. Army, passed away Dec. 2.
Dr. Wozniak joined the faculty of Loyola University Chicago in 1950, according to the school. One year later, he was made acting chair of the Department of Education. He served 18 years in that capacity until the founding of the School of Education in 1969, when he became dean, a position he held for another 10 years. Dr. Wozniak retired in 1989 and remained active with many School of Education alumni events.
Carolyn Anthony, director of the Skokie Public Library, had many fond recollections of Dr. Wozniak, who was born Sept. 13, 1916.
“Dr. Wozniak was a scholar and a gentleman with a lively mind and a wonderful sense of humor that included an appreciation for irony," she wrote in an email to Patch.
"As an exemplar of a person committed to lifelong learning and an engaged citizen, he brought much wisdom and knowledge to the Library Board. He could speak paragraphs in Latin or Greek, yet recognized the value of computer technology to the transmission of knowledge and the operation of the library. As devoted as he was to reading and learning, he always had time for people and a good conversation.”
In December 2006, when Dr. Wozniak, of Skokie and Crystal Lake, won the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award for recognition of his contribution to the humanities, the library newsletter said that:
Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen nominated Dr. Wozniak for the award, stating that “John Wozniak epitomizes the reason the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award was created. John has been a leader in education all his professional life. In keeping with his commitment to education, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he also has devoted endless time and energy in making our public library one of the finest in the nation. Skokie is a great community because of the contributions of people like John Wozniak.”
In both his academic career and his nearly 35 years of service as Board Member of the Skokie Public Library, Dr. Wozniak has garnered respect for his considerable intellect, kindness, and “lively commitment to people” as Board President John Graham puts it. Library Director Carolyn Anthony lauds Mr. Wozniak’s “clear vision of the public library as the “people’s university.” Among many other contributions, Mr. Wozniak provided leadership for a major library expansion. His fellow board members turn to him for both his skills in resolving conflicts and for translations of Greek, Latin, and Polish phrases.
Here are the funeral arrangements, by Haben Funeral Home, and additional information.
Visitation Thursday, December 19th, from 4 to 9 p.m., at HABEN Funeral Home & Crematory, 8057 Niles Center Road, Skokie.
Funeral Friday, December 20th, at 10:15 a.m., from the funeral home, for Mass, 10:30 a.m., at St Peter Catholic Church, Skokie. Interment St. Peter Catholic Cemetery, Skokie.
Born in Astoria, Long Island, to the late Michael and Mary Ann, nee Stadnik; preceded in death by Mary Agnes, nee Flood, his wife of 47 years; his brother, Joseph, and sisters, Sofie and Helen. He is survived by his sons Robert (Jana) and John (Delia), five grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren, to all of whom he was deeply devoted.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, contributions in John's name may be made to the Skokie Public Library, Attn: Carolyn Anthony, 5215 Oakton St., Skokie, IL, 60077.