John W. DeWolf '30


John W DeWolf of Beta Theta Pi, University of Illinois, died February 5, 2004 after a brief illness.

John was initiated into the Sigma Rho chapter in February 1927 on the 25th anniversary of the Chapter. Francis Shepardson, the president of Beta Theta Pi, attended the initiation. John returned to the campus in 2002 to attend the 100-year anniversary of the Chapter.

John served as a Lt. Colonel in the Air Corps in WWII, entering active duty just before Pearl Harbor. He was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal. He spent most of his business life in industrial advertising, starting with General Electric; followed by three years with Bethlehem Steel; 20 years with Basford, a New York industrial advertising agency; and finally 19 years with Cahners Publishing Company, a business-magazine publisher headquartered in Boston. He was president of the 4500-member Business Marketing Association (then the Association of Industrial Advertisers) in 1965-66. He retired to Reston, VA in 1977 and then moved to Falcons Landing, an Air Force retirement home in Sterling, VA, in 1997. John was a strong supporter of the Sigma Rho chapter and the Beta Theta Pi Foundation.

John's brother, Frank T. De Wolf '39, was also a Sigma Rho Beta.

John was born June 27, 1909. He married Jean Bull, a Delta Gamma at the University of Illinois. She passed away January 30, 1999. John is survived by a daughter, Deborah Allen and her husband, Harry, and by four grandsons and one great grandson. 

John has written about his time at Sigma Rho in an unpublished document "My Life and Good Times" in 1999.  An excerpt of this document is on this site: