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John Wilden Hughes Jr.

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John Wilden Hughes Jr. Obituary


John Wilden Hughes Jr., born on Feb. 18, 1950 in MI, died suddenly of a heart attack while taking a morning walk on a trip in Manhattan to visit family. The date was Aug. 6th. A self-made man whose career began as an advertising copywriter in Chicago, his work as a screenwriter, producer and director on such films as The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Home Alone helped launch countless careers and revealed to a global audience the humor, sensitivity and nuances of everyday people in the suburbs of Chicago. In the last decade, he stepped back from the legacy he created to enjoy time with his family, maintain a functioning farm in northern Illinois and support independent arts. While the impact of his work and philanthropy were felt internationally, he focused intensely on local interests, including the planting of a half-million trees in McHenry County and the funding of medical research through Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Nancy; two sons, John Wilden III and James Warren; and four grandchildren, Katelyn Rose, John Wilden IV, Livia Brynn and Henry Paul. He was a proud resident of Northbrook, Glencoe, Northfield, Harvard and Lake Forest, where he lived since 1988. A private service will be held at Wenban Funeral Home in Lake Forest on Tuesday, Aug. 11th. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the , 208 S. LaSalle St. Ste 1500, Chicago, IL 60604-1242 and the Northwestern University School of Medicine, Arthritis Research Fund, 300 E. Superior St., Lurie Building, 7th Floor, Chicago, IL, 60611. Info: 847-234-0022



Published in Chicago Tribune on Aug. 9, 2009
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