John W. Wood

November 14, 1941 - June 9, 2021

A Memorial Celebration of Life will be held later this summer.

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to:

Professor Herbert Alexander Award Fund

(for students of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science at UIC)

c/o University of Illinois Foundation

P.O. Box 734500

Chicago, IL, 60673-4500



John W. Wood, age 79, of Oak Park, Retired Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), died Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at Evanston Hospital. John was a teacher of mathematics and topology at UIC and shared his enthusiasm for learning with family, friends, students and colleagues. He loved hiking, rock climbing and music. Beloved husband ofContinue Reading

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Janet Balmer and Dave balmer left a message on October 16, 2022:
John and Nancy were a great couple and sister and brother to our family We miss them and all the hikes we enjoyed with them and their sons as they visited Colorado and Massachusetts and New York and Illinois and Arizona You both left our world and our lives too soon Nancy and John gave us the best nephews and grand niece and grand nephew
Howard Masur left a message on June 18, 2021:
I am very sorry to hear of the passing of John. Steve Hurder said it aptly. John was a gentle soul. We were colleagues at University of Illinois at Chicago for over 30 years. I arrived just 2 years after John came. He was most welcoming to me and helped me feel at home. Our offices were across from each others . We chatted often about things we enjoyed in life. John often talked about and recommended hikes he took with family. We both loved music and for John, particularly contemporary music. He used to joke that he did not want to go to a concert if the composer was not in the audience.John and Nan had us for dinner a number of times which my wife and I always enjoyed. We remember barbecuing at their house and marveling at the Eastern bluebirds in their backyard.John was a lovely person. My condolences to his family
Steve Hurder left a message on June 17, 2021:
John was a gentle soul, with exceptional and sometimes unusual talents. The celebrated Milnor-Wood inequality in topology is named after him. As for unusual talents, I do believe John once asserted that he could do the "Whitney Trick". That is, he could go around the main table in the lounge of the Old Fine Hall at Princeton university, without touching the ground. This means, you lay on top of the table, then have to go under it, then back on top, just holding on to the edges of the table. This climbing feat was first preformed by Hassler Whitney, who has several famous rock climbing routes named for him. It takes exceptional strength to preform, and that is something John Wood had. We will miss him.
Haben Funeral Home & Crematory left a message:
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
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