John J. Bollweg / April 7, 1927 – Nov. 27, 2009

Published 1:59pm Thursday, December 3, 2009

John J. Bollweg, 82, of Fulton Street, Cassopolis, died Friday, Nov. 27, 2009 in Riverside Specialty Hospital in Mishawaka of complications during a long recovery following heart surgery.

He was born April 7, 1927 in Geneva, Ill., the son of the late John and Margaret (McBride) Bollweg, and was a resident of Cassopolis since 1998, when he moved from Evanston, Ill. John married the former Miriam Irene Doerann on Aug. 6, 1955.

John was a retired high school teacher and college professor as well as a veteran of the U.S. Navy who served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After leaving the Navy in the late 1940s, he spent several years in San Francisco and Seattle, where he knew Eric Hoffer and Jack Kerouac. By the early 1950s, John had returned to Chicago, where he was the ringmaster of the Chicago Railroad Fair and performed as a clown.
Later, while completing his bachelor’s degree at Northwestern University, John met his future wife, Miriam. In the 1960s, John taught German and Russian at St. Scholastica High School in Chicago. He was active in road rallies in the Chicago area as well as being an amateur radio operator for K9SIG. In the late 1960s and 1970s, John taught philosophy and logic at Washtenaw Community College in Ypsilanti, Mich. During this time, he participated in poetry readings in the Ann Arbor area, and had a few small books of his poems published and earned his private pilot’s license. John later earned his commercial pilot and flight instructor licenses as well.

After returning to Evanston, Ill. in the 1980s, John passed the CPA test and developed a small tax accounting practice. During these same years, he joined the Russian Orthodox Church, served on the Russian-American Congress and co-hosted a Russian-language radio show.

Since retiring to Cassopolis in 1998, john was active with DANK (German-American National Congress); the Four Flags Ham Radio Club in Niles; the Cass County R.A.C.E.S.; and served as a Skywarn officer.

In addition to his wife, Miriam, John is survived by four children, Andrea (Thomas) Davey, of Deerfield, Ill., John A. (Janet) Bollweg, of Westmont, Ill., Lydia (Nathan) Schuck, of Mason, Mich., Karla (Paul) Schroeder, of Sterling, Va. He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Laura Davey, Zachary Macarus, Anna, Mary and Audrey Schuck, Jesse and Daniel Schroeder; a brother, Robert, of Phoenixville, Pa.; and a half-sister, Veronica Felices, of Gulfport, Fla.

A funeral service will be held at Holy Virgin Protection Russian Orthodox Cathedral, 1800 Lee St., Des Plaines, Ill. at 10 a.m. CST Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009, followed by a graveside service at Elmwood Cemetery, River Grove, Ill.

Visitation was held at the Connelly Funeral Home in Cassopolis from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30 and in Chicago at Muzyka & Son Funeral Home, 5776 W. Lawrence Ave., from 4 to 8 p.m. CST Tuesday, Dec. 1.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the charity of your choice.

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