John Ireland, 65, beloved husband of Pam Wicking and father of Hannah and Will Ireland passed away on Friday, June 30, 2017, at his home in DeKalb.
John was born in Akron, Ohio, to Dr. Rev. Frank G. and Dorothy Ireland, and grew up in Michigan. He graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1970 and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Central Michigan University in 1974. His adventurous spirit took him to Australia, where he taught 3rd and 4th grade and met his wife of 32 years. He earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University, Ohio (1986) and taught high school English in Medellin, Colombia and Manistee, Michigan. He earned a MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University (1998) and was an Instructor in the English Department from 1999 until his death. John found his way back to good health after cancer in 2001 through alternative diet and medicine and inspired others to adopt healthier lifestyles. Love of travel, language, teaching and the outdoors took him to all corners of the world. He was an avid bird watcher, reader, book collector and backpacker who delighted in trips to the mountains of Colorado and the family cabin in Michigan.
He is survived by his wife; children; sisters, Patricia Wildey and Lori Ireland; and a large, loving, extended family in the US and Australia.
He was preceded in death by his beloved parents and brothers Richard and Frank Ireland.
A Memorial Service celebrating John's life will be held Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of DeKalb, 158 N Fourth St., with Rev. Linda Slabon officiating.
Donations in his memory may be made to "John Ireland Memorial Student Travel Scholarship" at youcaring.com
For information, visit www.AndersonFuneralHomeLtd.com
or call 815-756-1022.