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John "Jack" Elmer Elias, age 69, of Wheaton, IL died Oct. 7, 2009, from a heart attack. John is survived by a large extended family, including wife, Carol; daughters, Catherine (John) Kay and Jennifer Elias (Jeff Rhodes); granddaughters, Eleanor and Megan Kay; sisters, Jeanne (Don) Osgood, Joyce (Richard) Ballard, Joan Elias (Jim Meeker); stepmother, Oris Elias; father-in-law, Cy Zvonar; and many other family members who loved him dearly. John was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Rosemarie Elias. John began his journey to becoming an elementary particle physicist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He earned his Ph.D. in 1970 from MIT and continued as a post doc. at MIT with Jerome Friedman and Henry Kendall. John joined the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in 1973. Throughout his career of nearly 40 years he worked on experiments at the world's leading physics laboratories, including the Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. He retired from Fermi in 2005, but continued to work as Guest Scientist, retired until the time of his death. John shared his knowledge of electronics and safety by participating in many reviews for NASA, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and other organizations. John was known by his colleagues as an excellent physicist with a gentle manner and infectious enthusiasm for the work he carried out. For pleasure, John traveled extensively throughout his life, spent as much time as possible at the Northern Wisconsin cottage that he and his family built, fished, collected wine, devoured crosswords and other puzzles, enjoyed music and tended his vegetable gardens. John was a member of the Wheaton League of Women Voters, the Crooked Lake Association Board, the South Division Old Timers Club, the American Physical Society and its Division of Particle Physics and its Division of Physics of Beams, and of the Forum on Physics and Society. The family invites friends to a visitation at 1 p.m. and memorial service at 2 p.m. at the DuPage County Historical Museum in Wheaton on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to environmental charities or to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Oct. 18, 2009
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