John's Story

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John Richard Bosworth passed away August 12, 2016 in Normal, Illinois at age 84.

John was born in 1931 in Bloomington, Illinois to Richard and Louise Bosworth. His parents met working at the local newspaper, The Daily Pantagraph, where as a teenager John held many jobs, including proofreader. John was president of his high school senior class and worked his way through college at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, earning a B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy. He was extremely active in campus theater productions and was a radio announcer at the campus radio station WILL for several years, hosting the morning show and performing radio plays.

John and Susan Herrick of Urbana, Illinois married in 1954. They spent two years at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri as John served in the U.S. Army, then five years in New York City where John did graduate work in Philosophy and was a Lecturer in Humanities at Columbia University. In 1961 Susan's parents took them on a 4-month trip around Europe in a VW convertible, with John as sole driver.

In 1962 John took a teaching job at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, where he and Susan spent the next 40 years and raised three children. He taught Humanities and Philosophy for 25 years, emceed dozens of banquets and served on "too many" faculty committees. For many summers, he drove his family on adventures around the country in a station wagon, touring 46 states.

After retiring, John worked on his large tome on the philosophy of science (published at www.commonscience.info). He volunteered with the state and national chapters of AARP as an advocate for vulnerable elderly citizens, becoming an expert speaker on Social Security and Medicare. For several years he was the only non-medical member of an Oklahoma committee charged with reviewing all Oklahoma hospital and nursing home regulations to be recommended to the state legislature. He served a term as chair of the Payne County Democrats, and he helped Democratic campaigns around the state for more than a decade.

John and Susan moved to Normal, Illinois in 2002. John was an avid reader of history and enjoyed keeping up with national politics, baseball, and taking the train to Chicago for museums and theater.

John is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Susan; three children and their spouses: Matthew Bosworth and Jennifer Sanborn, Joseph and Karyn (Tweeten) Bosworth, Katherine Bosworth Romero and Daniel Romero; three grandchildren: Marshall and Janelle Bosworth and Ryan Romero; and John's brother James Bosworth.

His family and friends will miss his wry humor, the many, charming stories he loved to tell in his deep, mesmerizing voice, his love for St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and his unbounded curiosity on a broad spectrum of topics.

Memorial donations may be made to John's favorite charity, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org).
Published on September 9, 2016
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