John E. Hoerster
Gibbons Funeral Home - Elmhurst
134 South York Road
Elmhurst, IL
John E. Hoerster, age 53, suddenly, Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Loyola Academy, Wilmette. Graduate of Northwestern University and former Wildcat. President of Chicago Catholic League. Beloved husband of Donna M., nee Connor; loving father of John R. and Regan; dear brother of Edward (Judy) Hoerster and brother-in-law of Lynda Connor and Karen (Mike) Strocchia; fond uncle of many nieces and nephews. Visitation Thursday 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. until time of Funeral 9:30 a.m. at Gibbons Funeral Home, 134 S. York Road (1/2 mi. N of St. Charles Rd.), Elmhurst. Mass of Christian Burial 10 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Interment Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery, Hillside. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Loyola Academy, Wilmette. For funeral information call 630-832-0018 ;
Published by Chicago Tribune from Aug. 26 to Aug. 27, 2003.
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Funeral services provided by:
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101 Entries
John was a great guy, his strength on the field was exceeded only by his strength of character. We will all miss him.
Nick Rizzo
December 11, 2012
John was a classmate of mine at St. Rita High School, Class of 1967. Although it is many years late, I am so sorry to learn of John's passing. I will always remember his sense of humor in class.
Best wishes to his family.
Tom Winski
December 10, 2012
I am sitting here browsing through some channels and I came upon the telecast of Loyola vs St. Rita. Having graduated from Gordon Tech in 1975 and having played football, of course I began to watch the game, when I heard the announcer say "Hoerster Field" I leaned forward and I was reminded of my old football coach and history teacher. I googled his name only to read that he had passed away and that he had left such a wonderful legacy.
Coach Hoerster was quite the disciplinarian, he whacked me over the head with his big thick history book, more than once. He was the type of person that brought out the very best in an individual. He was a very funny man, who often had me cracking up whether on the football field or in the classroom.
God bless him. I'm 55 years old now, and it just doesn't seem right to know that he passed away at the age of 53. He will always remain alive in our hearts as long as we remember him.

God bless you and your family coach.

Willie Lopez.
Willie Lopez
October 22, 2011
To the Hoerster Family, I am so happy for the time I was able to spend with Coach Hoerster! Coach contacted me about my induction into the Catholic League Hall of Fame and I will cherish my conversations with John. My wife and I were honored to meet him this spring and I am a better man for getting the chance to meet Coach Hoerster!My sympathy goes out to his family and friends.
Steve Krafcisin
September 19, 2003
To the Hoerster Family:

Words cannot express the sadness I felt upon learning of Mr. Hoerster's death. I remember the fun the I had in his World History call at Gordon Tech during the 1977-78 school year. He never forgot your name either. I still remember the time I went to one of the games in my senior year. When we passed in the stands, he stopped to talk to me for a few seconds before heading up to the coach's box and then thanking me for coming to the game the next week when we happened to pass in the hall.
He will be missed by all that knew him.

Jim Meindl
Gordon Tech Class of 1980
Jim Meindl
September 13, 2003
Dear Donna, John, and Regan:
When I first heard of the passing of John I could not come to terms with the news. I worked with John for all of the years that his presence blessed the halls of Gordon Tech. John was an outstanding teacher, coach, and human being.
The morning after my second child, Chrissy was born I received a call from my wife at the hospital giving me the news that Chrissy had Downs Syndrome and pleading with me to come to the hospital as quickly as possible. Instead I stopped at the Hoerster residence because I knew that John would calm me down give me great advice on how to face the situation. That was almost thirty years ago and it was seven o'clock in the morning. John was there for me and he gave the advice and encouragement that allowed me to do and say the right things. I only wish that I could be there for his family at this time.
To me, John Hoerster is and always will be the person that I use to measure kindness and compassion. We are all truly better people because we knew this great man.
My prayers will always be with him and his family

Casey Kozlik
casey kozlik
September 7, 2003
Dear Mrs. Donna Hoerster and family:


He was the BEST coach and person I ever had the pleasure of meeting. He always had a huge smile on his face and always had the TIME to talk and make you feel so good.

My sons knew Coach Hoerster at Gordon Tech High School -- (Greg ('82), Steve ('84) and Mike ('89'). They all played football and each were on a WINNING SQUAD, during their Junior Year at Gordon Tech, due to Coach Hoerster's brilliant defensive ability to coach the sport he loved -- FOOTBALL!

My daughter, Pam was also lucky enough to know him at Loyola Academy where she was the assistant coach for girls Varsity Softball for 3 years. She thought the world of him.

I have never met such an enthusiastic, brilliant individual.

He will be missed.

My prayers will be with you and your family Donna! I am so sorry.

My sympathy.


Mrs. "Schaff"
Martha Schaffrath
September 4, 2003
Because of coach Hoerster, every day truely was a great day to be a rambler. i didnt know the coach very well, but he was always there to brighten up my day with a smile and a high five. My heart goes out to his family, to those that knew him, and to those that will never get the chance.
Rachel Grey
September 4, 2003
Many people associate Coach Hoerster with football, but I think about track. I always looked forward to traveling to Loyola for track meets. I knew that at some point Coach would find me, and give me a hearty greeting. I will miss him this year.

Laeh Litin
Athletic Trainer
Gordon Tech High School
Laeh Litin
September 4, 2003
Mrs. Hoerster, I am truly saddened to hear of the passing of your husband John. I never had the chance of meeting this man, but I follwed his career after having you as a teacher at IJP in the mid 70's. Being a football player myself, I truly understand the impact a coach can have on a young athlete, and after reading the tributes in this guestbook, I know he touched many young people. May God bless you and your family during these tough times.
Rich Fordon
September 3, 2003
To the Hoerster Family,

Please accept our sincerest condolences and sympathies, on the death of Mr. Hoerster.

May God give you the love and strength you need to help you carry on, at this time.

Patricia and Thomas Nau and Family
(Mt. Carmel High School)
Patricia and Thomas Nau
September 2, 2003
I officiated a game at Michigan University on Saturday and dedicated it to John. I felt honored to have had been associated with him through the years. Sincerely, John Langan
September 1, 2003
Dear Hoerster Family,

We are very sorry for your loss and pray that you would draw close to God during this very difficult time. John was 25 years old as my homeroom and history teacher at Gordon Tech (class of 1977). I remember his committment to the students and athletes. His daily approach was positive and encouraging. Thank you Hoerster family for sharing John as he influenced and served so many young people.
Patrick Geraty
August 31, 2003
My family and I were most fortunate to have crossed paths with John Hoerster shortly after he had joined the Loyola family. A remarkable man who probably never truly realized the vastness of his impact on such a great number of people. Peace....
The Abrams Family
John '83, Daniel '84, Tim '86, Matt '89, Jack '57 and Sally
Jack Abrams
August 31, 2003
Dear Hoerster Family,
Please accept my sincere condollences on the sudden and sad loss of such a fine man...Truely, the lives of many have changed due to his passing!
I have had the pleasure of knowing him both through my father (both went way back as friends and colleagues)and as an official back in the old days at Gordon Tech, and he was always a consumate professional and a gentleman! The last time we met, MC was playing the son was a MC sophomore, and my dad went to see coach H to say hello...he came out to meet my son and wished him good luck! It was only then that I made the connection with John Jr. as being related...I was embarrased to have not previously known, but equally excited to know that my son had a coach from such bloodlines!
Coach was such an inspiration to so many, and surely shall be missed! Please know that his legacy shall continue through those who knew him and were touched by his tremendous spirit! Sad as it may be, I find solice in knowing my dad now has a new member on his coaching staff in heaven!...Imagine the staff and players! they're all legends!
May god bless you all and comfort you through your sorrow!

In Sympathy,
Tom Noble, Jr.
Tom Noble, Jr.
August 31, 2003
To the Hoerster Family:
I consider myself very fortunate because not only did I graduate from St. Rita with John, but my three children were able to get to know The Coach at Loyola Academy. Even though none of them were on an athletic team, they would come home with stories of all the support that he would give them. He was always in the hallway with a high-five, and a genuine interest in how their day was going. When it wasn't going well he always had something positive to say.
Although I will always consider him a "Rita Man", I know he was a Rambler to my children and all the other students whose lives were made better by knowing him. He was a great man!

Jim Clark
St. Rita '67
Jim Clark
August 30, 2003
I was saddened to hear of this unfortunate event. Even though i never got a chance to play for him, since i was just a freshmen at Loyola last year and i moved this summer to Ohio. He was always had the greatest attitude and was always in the halls asking me when my next game was or how my day was going. He was truly and inpiration to all and we will always remember that no matter what"ITS A GREAT DAY TO BE A RAMBLER"
dan swormstedt
August 30, 2003
To the Hoersters

I knew John when he was in high school at St. Rita and in college at Northwestern University. He was a very fine young man who meant a lot to the people who knew him well. Reading over the enteries in the guest book, its obvious that, over time, he became even a better a man. As someone who knew him when we were young, I want to say that he was a person who touched the lives of many and that the world is definitely a better place because he lived in it. My condolences to John's family. He was a fine man and loved by many.
Beth Kirby
August 29, 2003
To our dear Coach-
You will be dearly missed at Loyola Academy. You were the epitome of what a Rambler really was. I never saw you without a smile on your face. You always found a way to brighten my day by saying "It's a great day to be a RAMBLER!!!!!!". Even when I was having the worst possible day you always made it better. This year we will definitely be sure to PUMP UP THE VOLUME!!!!!!!! I cannot imagine Loyola without you and we will all miss you very much! We love you!!!!!

To Coach Hoerster's family- Remember that you will always be in our prayers and we will never forget our dear Coach Hoerster!
August 29, 2003
Our deepest sympathy. In our hearts he was and always will be the ultimate Rambler. We cherish our memories of him, never to forget.

The Perrone Family
The Perrone Family
August 29, 2003
Peace and love to you, dear Hoerster family. What a very special man John was to all of us at Loyola. I am retired now, but know what an integral part John played in Loyola's many successes-admissions, athletics, and just plain being kind to everyone! He is deeply missed by all of us. Love and prayers, Ellie Davis
Elinore Davis
August 29, 2003
Rest in Peace Coach Hoerster. You were a role model to us all and a hero in the eyes of god and the whole Loyola Academy community.
August 29, 2003
Mrs. Hoerster and Family,

Thanks to Coach, I'll always know it's a great day to be a Rambler. Even though I only knew him for a year, he touched my life and the lives of all of my family members, none of whom attended Loyola. We'll always remember him. Our condolences on your great loss.
Matt McKenna '06
August 29, 2003
To the Hoerster Family

Coach Hoerster was truly a man for all seasons. The epitome of not just what every teacher should be, but what every person should aspire to be. He led by example and was a mentor to all. Even as a Loyola parent it is hard to imagine Loyola without John Hoerster. Those of us remaining must fill the void resulting from John’s passing by continuing his enthusiasm and spirit towards our fellow man. To his students start each day by looking yourself in the mirror put on that big Hoerster grin and say IT’S A GREAT DAY TO BE A RAMBLER then go say it to someone else.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his Family. We are grateful that we knew John and Thank You Mrs. Hoerster, John and Regan for sharing him with us.
Susan, Craig, Samantha, Bob, Jon and Carolina Lofgren
August 29, 2003
Dear Hoerster Family,
i was a player for coach hoerster and my regrets i cannot attend the funeral because i have a football game. The family is in my prayers and so is coach, he was a great man who taught me many important things about football but more importantly about life.
God Bless You,
Michael Schnoor
Michael Schnoor
August 29, 2003
Our sincerest sympathy to the Hoerster Family. 'Coach' led by example to all he encountered. Sincerely,
The Toren Family
(Kristen, Adam, Donna, Jerry)
Adam/Kristen Toren
August 29, 2003
Coach...always a true class act and always an energized spirit on the field and in the hallways. Thank you for setting the highest example. "Go Ramblers!"
Tom Cronin
August 29, 2003
Coach Hoerster was never a coach of mine, nor did I know him well. Only being a sophmore at Loyola, I didn't have much time to get to know him. I do know, however, that he was an amazing man. From the short time that I did know Coach, I've learned that he was such a joy to be around. It truly was an honor to meet someone with a such a great heart, and such a passion for his surroundings. It is a tragedy to loose such a great man at such an unexpected time. I only hope that he is in a happier place.
To the Hoerster Family,
I am deeply sorry for your loss. Coach was an incredible man who touched everyone's lives he came into. I only regret not knowing him better. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
After loosing such an amazing man, I can think of nothing to say to comfort you, but please know that there is one more angel in Heaven right now, praying for you every day.
meghan Healy
August 29, 2003
Dear Hoerster Family, Our prayers are with at this difficult time. We as parents were so proud to have our son mentored by John Hoerster, a true gentleman and role model to many. The Lucas Family
Libby,Larry&Conor Lucas
August 28, 2003
My prayers go out to the Hoerster family.

Dan Heitz St. Rita class of 67
Dan Heitz
August 28, 2003
I am very sorry for your loss. I thought John was a great man and he will be sorely missed by myself and all others who have met him.
Mike Minogue
August 28, 2003
To the Hoerster family,
It was my pleasure to have known John through Loyola for the last 10 years. In an age when it’s hard to single out any Professional athlete as a hero for young people, it is not hard for me to say that John was a hero in this household and too many Loyola students and athletes. My son Martin, played football for John and is now a coach for the Loyola sophomore football team. It is my hope that Martin will aspire to practice the lessons that Coach Hoerster taught him not only about football but what was important outside of football. My family will miss John and his smiling face and we offer our deepest sympathy to you and yours.

Go Ramblers,
The Jennings Family
John & Mary Jennings
August 28, 2003
It was an honor to have John Hoerster in my Loyola Academy world. He was a man for others in every way and made sure that everyone was appreciated and affirmed.
High Five Coach!
Nora Dabrowski
August 28, 2003
John always had a smile and a greeting for everyone and that's how we'll always remember him. I can't imagine the heartache that you and your family are going through. You will be in our prayers and thoughts to help you struggle through these very sad times. Fondly, Jean & EJ Doyle
Jean & EJ Doyle
August 28, 2003
We thank God for Coach Hoerster and the impact he has had on our family. In 2000 Coach Hoerster provided our first freshman orientation session at Loyola. It was fantastic. He talked about Loyola and Loyola football with such energy and enthusiasm that it took us several hours just to come down from the intensity of the meeting. With Coach Hoerster – everyday truly was a “great day to be a Rambler”. I don’t know how he did it – but it seemed as if he was at every game any Loyola team ever played. Coach Hoerster was a caring and compassionate role model. We are grateful for his positive attitude and all those inspirational email messages. And we thank God that he was our sons’ Coach.
Marty & Kathy Howe
August 28, 2003
Dear Donna, John, and Regan,

My heartfelt sympathies are with your family and friends as we mourn the loss of your beloved husband and father. I was fortunate enough to be in Coach Hoerster’s first period world history class his very first year at Loyola. I learned very quickly that you didn’t have to be a football player to feel both valued and respected in his class. He truly knew how to cultivate the unique talents and abilities in all his students. My admiration grew in subsequent years when I would return for reunions and he would exhibit the same passion, enthusiasm, and interest for his students. I last spoke with him in a bookstore during the Christmas season last year. He successfully lifted my spirits when my job search was discouraging me. Coach Hoerster was a major reason why I chose to become an educator. He clearly was one of the brightest stars in my galaxy and his glowing presence still radiates upon us all as we remember him today.

God bless all of you during this difficult time.

Jeffrey Lobo
Class of 1991
[email protected]
Jeffrey Lobo
August 28, 2003
Coach Hoerster was the epitome of a man for others. There was never a day where I didn't see him and receive a high five and "It's a great day to be a rambler" or a simple "good luck in your game today". There were even those games out in Libertyville or some other far place where I would look and see Coach there, sometimes at 9 in the morning on Saturdays. He was a great man and hopefully everyone up in heaven will be saying - its a great day to be a rambler. Coach Hoerster you are sure to be one of the greatest legacies at Loyola. We all miss you.
Molly McGuire
August 28, 2003
Not only was Coach Hoerster the most enthusiastic person I have ever met, he was one of the friendliest. Whether it was learning my name after one of the plays and telling me how wonderful the production was, or stopping to ask how I was doing, he was always thinking about others and the Loyola community. Not only is this a loss for those who were lucky enough to have known him, but also to future Ramblers, who will not have that chance. Coach Hoerster will be missed and his passion for life and the Ramblers will never be forgotten!
Kyle Gibson
August 28, 2003
John will be sorely missed by all. He was an example to all whom he worked with and those whom he coached.

Miss you, John

Jerry Jasinski
Jerry Jasinski
August 28, 2003
Sorry about your loss, may God be with you and your family.

Terry Jessen
Terry Jessen
August 28, 2003
A man with a special zest for life is gone. He will be missed. I have lost a friend.
Jerry Shnay
August 28, 2003
To The Hoerster Family
We have had children at Loyola for the past 11 years and the one constant was Coach Hoerster's enthusiasm and smile. In July I lost my cousin, Jim Burns #33, to leukemia. Jim played for Coach during the 80's. Throughout Jim's illness John visited and e-mailed him to check on his health. This meant alot to Jim and I want to thank you for sharing your husband and father with the Loyola Family. Jim loved Loyola football and Coach loved his players. I like to think Jim has his Coach back and they're talking football and watching over us. The Isherwood Family
Kathleen Isherwood
August 28, 2003
Always a class individual, Coach Hoerster seemed to have a positive effect on everyone who crossed paths with him. John has truly left an enduring mark on this earth.

My deepest condolences to John's family - thank you for sharing this great man with all of us.

Tony Weyers
(Gordon Tech '87)
Tony Weyers
August 27, 2003
I have never met anyone in my life like Coach Hoerster. He was the most energetic and outgoing person ever! He would always say Hello, or rather, "It's a great day to be Rambler!", and he always put a smile on my face. I remember getting encouraging notes from him in the mail whenever I won an award or the golf team did well in a competition. The little things like that are what make a difference in peoples lives and that's what he has done for me!
Rachel Kopczyk
August 27, 2003
It is with great sadness i write this email..My sincere condolences to the Hoester family..Although i didnt play football when i attended Gordon Tech, being an athlete and in the locker room for countless hours over my high school days, i had many occasions as im sure others have as well to get to know the coaches...I remember coach as always positive,upbeat,intense,
compassio nate and understanding with a kind word for all...The Loyola and Gordon Tech families have lost a great person...We are all better people having had crossed paths with coach...Peace and may God look over you and all you family in this difficult time..
Matthew Bloch
class of 85
Matthew Bloch
August 27, 2003
Thanks Coach - You made every day "A GREAT DAY TO BE A RAMBLER"!!

Mary Alice, Michael & Elizabeth Karnes
Mary Alice Karnes
August 27, 2003
A Family Prayer

Please God forgive a slient tear, a constant wish that he were near. Other were taken yes we know, but he was ours and we loved him so. He bid no one a last farewell, nor even said goodbye. He was gona before we knew it, and only you know why. If all the world were ours to give, we'd give it all and more to see that loving, enthusiatic face of his just once more. To all those who have a father, brother, coach, uncle, grandfather: treasure him with care. You never know his value, until you see his vacant chair.

God Bless the Hoerster Family
August 27, 2003
I had the great opportunity to work with John at Gordon Tech H.S.He served as a great role-model for all the students whether in the classroom or on the football field. His positive attitude was contagious. The journey of life affords us the opportunity to meet a few great people-John was one of those individuals. My prayers and thoughts are with the entire Hoerster family as they cope with the loss of John. May the Risen lord be with you at this most difficult time. As John would say, "Go Rams & Go Ramblers!"
Ron Dernick
August 27, 2003
Loyola will never be the same without the ever familiar phrase of "It's a GREAT day to be a Rambler" echoing through every hall during passing periods. Although we have lost a great influence to every Rambler, the memories will stay with us forever. Coach Hoerster will live on through all of us, present and past Ramblers, forever. Coach, we will miss you, and never forget you.
Maire Mulroe
August 27, 2003
To The Hoerster Family,

I worked with John for a number of years in the Loyola Business Office.
John always had a lot of enthusiasm for his job & Loyola.
My deepest sympathy for the sudden loss you have experienced.

Claire Schultz
August 27, 2003
There are a few of us who played football with John at both St Rita and Norhwestern. I was lucky to know him through those years. John was my friend and he gave me a ride to practice in Evanston more times than I can count. I appreciated that. John would hit me as hard at a Tuesday practice as he would an opposing player on Saturday. I did not appreciate that, then. But, I do now.
Beneath all that was a very caring and uniquely human man. I am sure that never changed. He will be missed.
Paul Gary
August 27, 2003
The maroon and gold spirit of John Hoerster will remain in our lives forever. John's mantra of "its a great day to be a RAMBLER" will continue to be heard as the Loyola Academy community is graced with his spirit and PUMPS UP THE VOLUME!

John E. Hoerster lived every day as a man for others. The spirituality of St. Ignatius was in John's heart. He embodied the prayer of St. Ignatius:

Lord, teach me true generosity.
Teach me to serve as you deserve.
To give without counting the cost,
To fight heedless of wounds,
To labor without seeking rest,
To sacrifice myself without any thought of reward
Save the knowledge that
I have done your will. Amen.
Joe Sweeney
August 27, 2003
I'm a Rita grad of 1967. I for one am proud to say he was a classmate of mine. He is a true "Rita Man" and a credit to Loyola and the Catholic League. We can ill afford to lose men of his quality. Rest in peace John.
August 27, 2003
When we first met Coach Hoerster in 1987 it was his first year at Loyola Academy and our son John's first year on Varsity. We went to the Maroon&Gold scrimmage and were impressed with the Coach's enthusiasm. Our son had a great experience which included Coach Hoerster's first Prep Bowl Championship in 1988.
Last Saturday, we attended the Maroon&Gold day for our son Michael's first year on Varsity. Coach Hoerster lead the day with the same enthusiasm, concern and caring for the parents and players as he did that first M&G day. What a special person to keep up that energy and love of his job for these 16 years! He stressed the importance of developing one's spiritual life as was evident last Saturday in his role as Eucharistic Minister as he distributed Communion to his players. He was as wonderful to our Michael as he was to John and we as parents are very grateful that our sons had the opportunity to play for such a great role model.
Our condolences to you, Donna, your children, and Loyola Academy on this great loss.
Sincerely, Sue and Phil Zera
Sue and Phil Zera
August 27, 2003
August 27, 2003
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hoerster's family. John was my offensive lineman coach while I attended Gordon Technical H.S. back in the mid 70’s. His positive attitude and enthusiasm had been an inspiration for me and my teammates. I wish the best for his family and friends during these difficult times.
Tom and Christine Nagode
August 27, 2003
My family and I offer our deepest condolences to John's family and friends. John was my mentor at Gordon Tech and greeted me each and every morning with a simple saying: "How are we going to make today better than yesterday"? It was his zest for life and his genuine love for people that I will always try to emulate. God Bless you John. And thank you.
Ted Kochowicz (Gordon Tech '86)
August 27, 2003
Coach Hoerster was truly a great man and a great addition to Loyola Academy. I will, along
with everyone else miss him. He always tried to teach me lessons of life from how to
properly shake someones hand to always having a positive attitude. I learned a lot
from him and I am very sad to see that not everyone will get to have that privalege.
He will always have a place in the heart of anyone who has had the opportunity to meet him.
One thing he always stressed during football was being where you needed to be 15 minutes
earlier than you needed to be to ensure that you are on time. Vinc Lombardi time he called
it. I know for a fact that when he gets to the gates of heaven that he will be there not just
on time but early. Ill miss you coach and may your spirit always roam the halls and field of
Loyola Academy.
Josh Berg
August 27, 2003
Coach Hoerster was the epitome of a man for others. He was the single most prominant Loyola figure. He was simply, Loyola. I cannot imagine the halls, or football games, or a peprally without him. I feel fortunate to have been a member of his final graduating class. Goodbye to a coach, a friend, a kairos leader, a mentor, a spiritual advisor, a teacher, and so much more to thousands and thouasands of ramblers.

Though these days are difficult, I am proud to be a rambler. I only hope the future Loyola students will be able to comprehend pre-Hoerster days, for the future is forever changed.

Coach, thanks for the memories! I will miss you.

Lastly, Mrs. Hoerster, John, and Regan: My thoughts and prayers are with you always.
Katie Valenti
August 27, 2003
Coach... Your legacy will never be touched. You were a true winner in every sense of the word. So many lives were made better because of the life you lived. Thank you. I will never forget you.
Dan Sullivan
August 27, 2003
Dear Donna, John, & Regan,

My family and I send you our sincerest sympahty in the passing of
your husband and father. I had the good fortune of working with John as a teacher and coach at Gordon Tech. He exemplified the good Christian qualities of a Catholic role model, whether in the classroom or on the athletic field.
I know that I am a better person for having known John, if only for the short period during during my life. God bless him and your family.
Jeffrey Hokl
August 27, 2003
My deepest sympathies go out to Coach's wife & family for the loss of a great man, player, teacher & coach. John was a teammate of mine at NU and we coached against one another when he was at Gorden Tech and I was at Loyola. He will always be remembered by me as a fierce but friendly competitor in everything he did. As excited as I was to hear he was going to lead the Ramblers, I am as saddened today to hear of his loss. May God have Mercy on the soul of this former WILDCAT. My prayers go out to his family for comfort in these tough times.
Jim Giovannetti
August 27, 2003
My deepest sympathy to the Hoerster family. As a Guidance Counselor at LA when John was Coach, I was impressed with the enthusiasm he brought to everything he did. I particularly remember his 'strong & friendly' Rambler greeting in the Guidance Center on the bleakest and coldest days of winter! He positively impacted the lives of many and will be missed.
James Marque
August 27, 2003
John will be missed by everyone who had the honor to know him. He was a model educator and a true gentleman. Rest in Peace, John. From everyone in the Leo High School Family
Robert Foster
August 27, 2003
John will be missed by everyone who had the honor to know him. He was a model educator and a true gentleman. Rest in Peace, John. From everyone in the Leo High School family.
Robert Foster
August 27, 2003
Barbara and I pray that God will give John's family -and Loyola Academy-the grace to bear the unbearable loss of John's presence.
We hope they can find solace in the prayer:
"Being made perfect in a short space, he fulfilled a long time for his soul pleased God"
Barbara and Jim Baisley
james baisley
August 27, 2003
Coach Hoerster was the greatest man at Loyola. He embodied what Loyola stood for. Coach was the man who could cheer anyone up, even if he didn't know them. His explosive attitude and the fact that he always had a kind word or an "It's a great day to be a Rambler" will never be forgotten. He was able to show every student what God was capable of. He helped a lot of kids understand who they were. Many people are where they are today because of Coach. He was more than a coach and an athletic director. He was a friend to every student who walked through Loyola's doors. Loyola won't be the same without him. Thanks coach! He always made it a point to attend a game or match for each sport and always showed his enthusiasm and support for each kid there. I'll miss him and he will never be forgotten.
Amanda Lazzaro
August 27, 2003
Coach was the person in our school that could make anyone smile at any given time. His enthusiasm and spirit were contagious. I know many people including my self who he inspired and pushed to continue when the going got tough he really was the spirit of LA. And i am sorry for those who never really got to know him as well as i did and didn’t get to slap his hand every day as you walked past him in the halls. " It's a Great Day to be a RAMBLER !!!" we love u coach and will miss you <3
debbie francis
August 27, 2003
The Thomas family is truly saddened by the loss of Coach Hoerster. He was a man of unlimited energy and personal ethics that was a role model for all of us - parents and students. John's interest, concern and passion were genuine - a gift rarely seen today. In respect, I want to say, "It's a great day to be a Rambler," but right, now it is just too difficult.
Charlene Thomas
August 27, 2003
I will never forget the sheer joy for life this man possessed. He was truly an amazing individual and I am so fortunate to have known him. Coach Hoerster always remembered everyone, from the varsity letter athlete to the bench warmer, he ensured everyone knew he or she was special and a crucial part to every team. He nearly lived at Loyola Academy some days, spending time at matches, games, or races for each and every sport. Loyola has lost one the biggest hearts it will ever have, someone who loved the school and all it stood for with every bit he could. No pep rally will be ever complete without the ‘I’ve got that Rambler spirit’ song, no walk down the hall will ever be as enjoyed while hearing the booming, “It’s a great day to be a Rambler!” and no one will ever hear any faculty member more proudly proclaim, “I piss maroon and gold!” John Hoerster will be greatly missed…it’s a sad day to be a Rambler.
Samantha Lofgren Class of 2001
August 26, 2003
Coach Hoerster was a truly amazing individual. I unfortunately did not get to know him until my junior year, but once he learned my name on Kairos 118, he never forgot it. He often went out of his way to tell me to smile and brighten my day. I received several letters from him, all inspirational and heart felt. He was someone I truly admired for his outgoing personality and the happiness he radiated to those he encountered. He meant so much to Loyola Academy, its students, and its faculty. He is someone I will always aspire to be like, and I will miss him when I visit LA. It's hard to imagine Loyola's hallways with out his smiling face and shouts of encouragement. My deepest sympathies go out to the Hoerster family; I want to thank them for sharing this truly special man with us. I don't feel that anything I have said has even touched what Coach truly meant to me. We have suffered a great loss and he will be missed deeply.
Mairin Amato
August 26, 2003
Coach Hoerster will be greatly missed by everyone in the Loyola community. He always attended our basketball games and supported our team with enthusiasm. I always remember hearing his voice in the crowd! You will never be forgotten.

With great sympathy,
Karen Xaverius
Class of 2001
Karen Xaverius
August 26, 2003
To Dear Dear Donna and John's Family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this very sad time. John was an AMAZING man and 'THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN' there was no better then him. He will forever be at your sides and forever watching over you, he will never truely leave you. It was wonderful getting to know John when Donna worked with Kevin. I would always look forward to seeing him when the spouses got together because he was so interesting to talk to, he loved his work and family and he was proud to say it. Please stay strong and we are thinking of you. Know that God only takes the BEST !!!
Kevin & Lynn Koske
August 26, 2003
I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Coach's family and friends, and also to the rest of the Loyola community. I was blessed to film Loyola's football games the last three years, and Coach always made me feel like I was part of the team. After the 2001 season, Coach sent me a letter thanking me for helping out. At the end of the note, it said: the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. Coach had that little extra that could brighten up anyone's day, whether it be a handshake in the halls or a smile and high-five at a game. His presence at Loyola will be greatly missed.
Kevin Johnson '03
Kevin Johnson
August 26, 2003
I knew John Hoerster when I was a student at Northwestern. He was a great guy, always friendly and genial. I am sad to learn of his passing. I send my sincere condolences to John's family and friends.
Alan Rosenberg
August 26, 2003
Our deepest sympathy to the Hoerster family. Coach Hoerster was my history teacher in the mid 70's.
I have fond memories of the nicknames he gave to each of my classmates. He truly will be missed
by all. Gordon Tech '77
August 26, 2003
John will be dearly missed at Loyola where I really believe he could only see 2 colors--maroon and gold. He was always so supportive of me and of the dance program at Loyola. His passion and energy for being a rambler and for life are truly to be admired. My prayers go out to all of John's family and friends. Peace.
Sandy Nowarita
August 26, 2003
When I think of John Hoerster, I think of lots of things, but the one thing that I keep coming back to is the form of punctuation known as the exclamation point. John liked them so much that he was never content using just one exclamation point. In fact, John rarely used less than four!!!! Not only did he use them liberally in his written communications, but he also talked (okay, yelled) in exclamation points. "L.A.!!!!! Champions!!!!!" How about his great big smile and the twinkle in his eyes? Even his non-verbal communications were made with exclamation points! At first glance, it may seem trivializing to compare John to an exclamation point, but when I reflect upon John's career and his daily presence at Loyola, it was one exclamation point after another. It was that way because of his tremendous passion for life, for kids, and for Loyola. I have no doubt that John lived his life outside Loyola the same way, because John Hoerster was the genuine article. My thoughts and prayers are with John's immediate, extended and Loyola families.
Chuck Allworth
August 26, 2003
John truly was an exemplar of the motto "a man for others." May God's love and blessings be upon him and his family.
Scott and Lourdes Myslinski
August 26, 2003
My deepest sympathy to the entire Hoerster family. As a colleague of John's, I will miss that early morning enthusiastic "Hello" which he extended to me. I will miss him. John and his family will be in my prayers. Geraldine B. Coleman
Mathematics Department
Loyola Academy
Geraldine B. Coleman
August 26, 2003
Coach was the greatest example of rambler spirit. He bled maroon and gold. In his eyes everyone was equal and it was always a great day to be a Rambler. He will be greatly missed and always held to the highest respects in my heart.
Michael Gleason
August 26, 2003
You will always be remebered as a "Class Act"...Rest in Peace Coach.

Joe Freeman
St.Rita 1968
Joe Freeman
August 26, 2003
We grew up with John in St. Rita's parish in the 60's. He was a funny kid. We have lots of great memories from St. Rita Grammar School and Fairfield Avenue! We are very saddened to hear of his death, but proud of all that he achieved.
Cindy, Carol & Judy
August 26, 2003
To the Hoerster Family,
With deepest regrets from the Richards High School football staff. John was one of the fierciest competitors I have ever met, while at the same time a man who understood the importance of what he did.He had compassion for his work and the people he encountered through it. His enthusiasm was as infectious as his ever present smile. He was the type of man that I as a coach would have loved to have my son play for because he taught kids a lot more about life than football. Today I feel that I not only lost a friend, but the state of Illinois has lost one of its greatest assets. You will be missed by so many John- rest in peace.
Steve Fleming
August 26, 2003
Coach Hoerster was like a second father to many of us at Loyola Academy. I know I will never forget the smile and high five he would give me when I saw him in the halls or the support he showed for each of the students.
Katherine McLaughlin
August 26, 2003
My husband and I met John briefly last Friday while sitting in the bleachers watching our daughter at cross-country practice. John looked up and said, "Hi Folks" it's going to be a great year for the "Ramblers." I will always remember his wonderful smile.

Our Deepest Sympathy,
The Panessa's
Stephanie Panessa
August 26, 2003
It's a sad day to be a rambler!
We will miss you coach.
August 26, 2003
My deepest sympathy to all on the great loss of an amazing man. Coach gave everyone ounce of his being to those who he came in contact with and would expect nothing less in return. He made all those whose path he crossed a better person...he gave us all a leader to follow; a man with integrity, love,and enthusiams which we all aspired to be like. A lot of young men and women would not be where they are today without John Hoerster, myself included. Thank you for sharing God's light and joy with all of us for the time you were here. I will miss you greatly and will always remeber you. God speed and let all the fellow angels know how great of a day it is to be a rambler as you enter through the Pearly Gates.
Michael McHugh
August 26, 2003
Our deepest sympathy goes out to your family. Mr. Hoerster was my World History teacher 13 years back & to this day, I still remember the passion he had for his job. He will be missed.
Roberto Monastero
August 26, 2003
What a shock. I had Coach Hoerster as a History teacher in 1974-75 at Gordon Tech and he was one of those guys you never forget. He was a true man's man. A role model for all of us young men. He always had the respect of everyone. I am truly sad for the loss.
Mike Miller
August 26, 2003
Your husband, your father, your brother, was a primier man first, and a primier football coach also first. He was a leader of men and a role model for boys. The Catholic League has lost one of its finest! My son, John, a member Coach's runner-up, and his State Championship teams, is devastated by his, and future Loyola Academy students loss, as am I.
John McDonnell
August 26, 2003
I worked w/ John in the Ath. Dept. as the Head Athletic Trainer. Words cannot express how truly saddened we all are by his passing. I don't know what I would have done at LA if it were not for John. He was always my advocate, teammate, and friend. His constant words of encouragement taught me that we could get through any situation. He taught me perserverance. He taught me to be positive. He taught me what Vince Lombardi time was. He taught me an unparalleled love for school and and for one another. He gave me friendship and reminded me almost everyday how much he appeciated me. He taught me to keep smiling. I know that I will never meet another man like John. As painful as this is to everyone who loved him, I hope we all can acknowledge his presence in our lives as an absolute gift. All who knew him are better people becuse of him. He will be missed greatly but his spirit will forever more be in our hearts.
Donna, John, Regan-my deepest condolences. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
With Sympathy,
Daniela Baldo
Daniela Baldo
August 26, 2003
Our deepest sympathies to John's family. All of us who were priviliged to know John will miss him. He is Loyola in so many ways.
Joe and Jill Valenti Jr.
August 26, 2003

My Hero, my Mentor, my second Father. I know you will continue to guide me even though you are gone. Thank you for showing me who I am and who I am capable of becoming. Words cannot express the imprint you have left on me life. I love you.
Paddy Stanton
August 26, 2003
Mr. & Mrs. H. Patrick Hackett, Jr.
56 Woodley Road
Winnetka, IL 60093
H. Patrick, Jr. Hackett
August 26, 2003
Great man. Lord have mercy on John.
Patrick Mullaghy
Gordon Tech. '78
Patrick Mullaghy
August 26, 2003
Coach Hoerster was a wonderful man who gave his all each and every day at Loyola Academy. I could always count on him to give a "it's a great day to be a Rambler" and to be at all the sports (including water polo) cheering on the Ramblers. His memory will not be forgotten. He will be what I think of when I think of Loyola. Thanks for everything Coach Hoerster and "it's a great day to be a Rambler".
Amanda Douaire (class of 2003)
August 26, 2003
Our sincere and deep sympathy. May you all remember the wonderful and beautiful man with treasured memories.
With love,
Henry, Kathy & Cory '99
Dr Henry, Kathy, Cory Crossetti
August 26, 2003
Very sorry for your loss. Though we did not know John Hoerster personally, we recognized his commitment to education and athletics at Loyola Academy.

Ted Poprawski
Athletic Director
Holy Trinity Athletics
August 26, 2003
John was a wonderful person and a true "man for others". I was always so pleased when he would write a little note after every theater production at LA congratulating the students on a job well done. He will be deeply missed.
Faye Ryan
August 26, 2003
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