John Weitendorf, Sr., Major JJC Donor and Supporter, Passes Away

Joliet Junior College is saddened to announce that John H. Weitendorf, Sr., major donor, former Foundation Board member, JJC alumnus, and supporter of the college’s agriculture program passed away Sept. 17. He was 89.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, Sept. 22, from 3 to 8 p.m. at Fred C. Dames Funeral Home in Joliet. Funeral services will be held Friday, Sept. 23, at 10 a.m. at St. Edward’s and Christ Episcopal Church in Joliet. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Mary L. Weitendorf Family Center Endowment Fund, the Joliet Junior College Foundation, or the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Research Fund of Jacksonville, FL.

Through his philanthropic endeavors, Weitendorf established a high school scholarship for students graduating from Joliet West and an endowed general scholarship for JJC students, which pays for their books, tuition and fees. Most notably, he donated 32 acres of land to the college in 1999, valued at $500,000, to be used as the site of a new agricultural center, now located on Laraway Road in Joliet across from the Chicagoland Motor Speedway. Several gifts were given by various donors in support of the agricultural educational center but the project was financed in majority by Weitendorf, who donated $2.2 million.

The John H. Weitendorf Agricultural Center officially opened its doors in June 2007 and serves as a reminder of Weitendorf’s generosity and the longstanding tradition of JJC alumni contributing to the educational mission of the college. While the center’s primary focus is education, the 30,500 square foot complex is available for outside groups and is an ideal location for meetings, events, or shows. Features include:

  • Four meeting/class rooms
  • 10,800 square foot arena
  • 6,900 square foot exhibit hall
  • Livestock holding wing
  • Livestock gates, auction block, and indoor wash racks

Born in Frankfort, Illinois and a lifelong Joliet area resident, Weitendorf graduated from Frankfort High School in 1936, Joliet Township High School in 1940, and from Joliet Junior College in 1942. In 2003, he was awarded the Joliet Junior College Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for his success in the real estate business and his generosity to JJC. John Weitendorf served as a member of the JJC Foundation Board of Directors from 1999 – 2007 and afterward served as an honorary member.

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