John B. Weaver, husband of the late Ruth Elaine (Hortin) Weaver and father of sons John and Tom, and longtime assistant superintendent for special education in the Champaign public schools, passed away on the morning of October 6, 2021, his 92nd birthday. A graveside service is planned for Sunday, October 10, at 1:00 at Roselawn Cemetery in Champaign. The service will be followed by a gathering at the home of John & Mary Weaver. Donations in John's memory can be made to the Marching Illini at the University of Illinois or Salt and Light.
A proud native of Chicago's Southside and graduate of De La Salle High School, John's path took a key turn with his military service during the Korean War, where he held the rank of sergeant in the 1st Cavalry Division of the U.S. Army. A friend and fellow soldier encouraged him to attend college; so, with the support of the G.I. Bill he drove south to Champaign-Urbana, where he would find his professional calling in speech and hearing science and public education administration, the love of his life and wife of 63 years in fellow student Ruth, and a new hometown, Urbana, where the couple would raise their sons.
As a leader in the Unit 4 Schools, John would help shape a transformative period of greater inclusion for students in special education. His compassion, warmth, creativity, and ever-present sense of humor made him a cherished colleague.
Beyond family, the joys of John Weaver's life included Illini sports and all things University of Illinois, where he earned his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate; music from Sousa marches to show tunes, Streisand to Dixieland; the life of Abraham Lincoln, whom he admired greatly and studied deeply; and irreverent fun with the circle of friends united as the "American Loon Association." John's happiest place was Lakeview Camp in central Minnesota, where two weeks in the summer were not so much about landing bass as they were about relaxing with family and friends, taking in the beauty of the north woods from a fishing boat on a quiet bay of Mule Lake.
John was loved and will be missed by many.. For a prolific writer of letters, skilled with words, it's fitting that we give him the last one, remembering him with the phrase that, in his later years, always closed his notes: "Be well and appreciate."
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