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John J. Alderson


1926 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
John J. Alderson Obituary
John J. Alderson

For his 90 years of life, John Alderson was raised with a love for family, the outdoors, sports and music. He was born on the winter solstice, December 21, 1926, in the southern Illinois town of Pana, where his father served as a family doctor and one-time mayor. He spent summers in Baldwin, Michigan, and developed a love for all things fishing. He also grew to love jazz, sometimes venturing to nearby Idlewild, Michigan to hear some of the great bands.

In high school, he was a star halfback and track star and went on to serve a stint in the U.S. Army in Germany before attending the University of Illinois to receive a Masters degree in social work. He worked as a social worker in the Evanston public schools and, in 1956, his work was featured in the Saturday Evening Post, then a leading magazine. He taught social work at the University of Illinois' Chicago campus for several years and in 1968, he moved his family of five to Tallahassee to teach social work at Florida State, where he became a full professor. He kept up his running and eventually became a marathoner. He was active in the Gulf Winds Track Club until he was eighty and won several medals for his age brackets. Tennis was a favorite activity shared with family and friends. John also loved the woods and waters of the Big Bend and Florida's state parks and organized many family camping adventures.

After his retirement in 1990, John attended music classes and became active in the TCC Jazz Band, playing trumpet. He and his wife, Jeanne, became avid travelers, venturing to Alaska, Europe, India, the Far East and Central America. His interests included East Indian spirituality and he volunteered with Meals on Wheels. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne, his sister, Mary Rudow, three sons, David (and wife Sarah), Doug (and wife Cyndi) and Steve (and wife Hua), three grandchildren, Cheyenne, Alexia and Joey, one great-grandchild, Gareth, and several nieces and nephews. A celebration of his life will be held at Unity Eastside 8551 Buck Lake Road Sunday, August 27 at 2 p.m. The family wishes to thank Big Bend Hospice and the Threshold Choir for their service.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Aug. 15, 2017
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