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John Deming Wolf Dd Sr.


1918 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
John Deming Wolf Dd Sr. Obituary
John Deming Wolf, Sr. DD

Valparaiso - John Wolf, of Valparaiso, finished his incredible journey January 9 at age 100. Born on Sept 29, 1918 in Kansas City, MO while his father, working for the YMCA, was training soldiers for WWI. John grew up in Great Falls Montana and Pocatello Idaho. He attended Idaho State, George Williams College and graduated from Oberlin College, OH. He received a divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary, in New York City studying under theologians Paul Tillich, Harry Emerson Fosdick and his advisor Reinhold Niebuhr, a great influence on his lifetime ethics.

In 1941, he married Carolyn Kelsey in NY City as WWII emerged. John joined up and was the youngest Chaplin in the US Navy. His combat medals include Salerno, Italy and the Pacific Campaign where he was awarded a Bronze Star at Iwo Jima. For many years he rarely mentioned the impact of the war until his retirement, when he started lecturing on the Pacific Campaign and the impact of war on veterans, publishing his real-time war diary "Amen till Tomorrow."

Following the War, he joined the Indiana Conference of the Methodist Church. His appointments included churches in Vevey, Evansville, Martinsville, South Bend, Hammond, Ft. Wayne and finally Valparaiso. He was always a voice for civil rights, women's rights and social justice issues. He received an honorary Doctorate from DePauw University, where he also served as Trustee.

In retirement, he was chair of the Indiana Coalition Against Legalized Gambling where his "Quixotian" battle against big money was fearless. In 2003, John received the "Sagamore of the Wabash" from Governor Kernan, for his efforts in social justice

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Bessie Wolf, his loving wife of 71 years, Carolyn Kelsey Wolf. He is survived by his sons, John Jr (Vicki) in South Bend, Carter (Kim Gattle) in Indianapolis and Earl (Deborah) in Williamston, MI. along with numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Jan. 13, 2019
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