John “Jack” Wolf 1934-2022
Jack passed away on January 6, 2022, in Madison, Wisconsin surrounded by his family. He was born March 4, 1934, to Mabel Francis and C.J. “Doc” Wolf at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Belvidere, Illinois. Jack was a graduate of Belvidere High School class of 1952 and was also a graduate of Lake Forest College.
On June 17, 1961, he married Peggy Luckow in St. James Catholic Church. Jack and Peggy had four children Anthony (Tony), Amy, Andrea, and Julie. He was a life-long member of St. James Catholic Church.
After college, Jack went to work for his father at Wolf Chevrolet Sales in downtown Belvidere.
Jack purchased his first automobile dealership in Genoa in 1958 and sold it in 1961. Jack purchased the Pontiac-Cadillac-GMC dealership in Belvidere in 1963. In 1969, he acquired the American Motors franchise which over the years evolved into the Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat franchises. He attended the General Motors School of Merchandising and Management, was a member of the Illinois Auto Dealers Association and the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Jack loved his hometown of Belvidere and was very involved in the community. He was an active member of the Belvidere IOU Club, past president, and of course “Master Story Teller” at their weekly meetings. He was on the Board of Directors of the Belvidere Bank for almost 25 years, founding member of the Boone County Community Foundation, lifetime member of the Boone County Historical Society, long time member of the Belvidere Chamber of Commerce, and board member of Rock Valley College for many years. Jack joined the Belvidere YMCA in 1963 and always felt that one of his greatest accomplishments was when he was president of the building committee responsible for the construction of a brand new state of the art facility that was dedicated in 1968. Jack and Peggy donated land to the Belvidere Keenage Center and he was on the building committee for the facility constructed on the site.
Boone County’s public art landscape was greatly influenced by Jack’s passion and love of bronze sculptures. Jack and his wife Peggy found great joy in sharing this passion by providing seven amazing works by nationally recognized sculptors. Most recently, he shared his love of art by commissioning The Walldogs (a group of highly skilled sign painters and muralists from all over the globe) to paint a mural on the O’Brien and Dobbins building that depicts the locally built Eldredge automobile. In 2003, Jack was the recipient of the Belvidere Chamber of Commerce’s Doctor of Civic Betterment Award which “honors an individual who has devoted their time and energy to serving this community.”
Jack loved the car business but also loved real estate and watching things being developed and built. He loved helping people by mentoring and giving advice especially to his children at the dinner table with an ongoing kitchen lecture series that included riveting topics such as “Habits of The Average Burglar” and “How to Brush Your Teeth!” Jack and Peggy enjoyed playing gin rummy, taking walks, and watching the birds together. Jack loved World War II history, fishing and hunting in his younger years, and was an absolute whiz at telling jokes and stories. He constantly whistled and made up crazy songs to sing in his office at work or as he walked through the house. He had a famous sweet tooth and could often be seen sneaking into the kitchen to get a frozen chocolate chip cookie or two or three or four!! And of course he always looked forward to getting together at the Steamplant with his buddies every Saturday for a “friendly” game of Liar’s Poker! But most of all he loved his family and worked hard to provide a wonderful life for his wife, children and grandchildren.
Jack is loved and will be greatly missed by his wife Peggy, son Tony (Heather) Wolf; daughters Amy (Loren) Wilcox, Andrea (Jason) Reynolds, Julie (Butch) Lightfoot and Janine (Kevin) Larson. Grandchildren Hannah, Noah, Sydnee, and Jack Wolf, Molly (Mitch) Yahr, Madeline Wilcox, Mya Reynolds, Jack Larson and several nieces and nephews.
Jack is preceded in death by his parents, brother Bill, infant sister Susan, and in-laws Henry and Edith Luckow.
The visitation for Jack will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday, January 16, 2022, in Anderson Funeral and Cremation Services, 218 W. Hurlbut Avenue, Belvidere, IL with a time of remembering Jack’s life at 5:30 p.m. The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, January 17, 2022, at St. James Catholic Church, 402 Church Street, Belvidere, IL with Rev. William Schuessler celebrating. Burial will be in Belvidere Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given in Jack’s name to St. James Catholic Church, Belvidere IOU Club, and The Boone County Historical Society. To share a memory, please visit www.AndersonFCS.com