SCGT
Article updated: 11/15/2012 5:16 AM

Former Des Plaines teacher, counselor was beloved

John Huizinga

John Huizinga

 
 1 of 1 
 
text size: AAA

John Huizinga dedicated his life to guiding teens through their difficult high school years and being a friend whom they could rely on for lifelong support.

That's how friends and family members remembered Huizinga, 84, a former history teacher and high school guidance counselor at Maine East and Maine South high schools for 31 years, who died Nov. 8 after struggling with Parkinson's disease.

Advertisement

"All the kids thought he was great," said former student Bruce Roberts of Inverness. "He loved kids. He had quite a sense of humor. I used to come back from college and visit with him."

Roberts said Huizinga introduced him in 1968 to his future wife, Alice, who at the time was a teacher at Maine South High School.

"He's like a big brother to me, and his wife Marilyn's like an older sister," Roberts said. "My wife and I, we've been friends with them for years. We're very close. It's almost like family."

Huizinga also kept in touch with many of his former students and made friends easily wherever he traveled, Roberts said.

"John is just a social animal," he said. "You can go almost any place and he'll run into somebody he knows. He was an exceptional human being and much loved by lots of people."

Huizinga did his practice teaching at Maine East High School in 1954 and remained with Maine Township High School District 207 his entire career. When Maine South opened in 1964, he moved there and became a guidance counselor and helped lead the Parent Teacher Committee. He was recognized with an award when he retired in 1984. Maine South also named a Teacher of the Year Award after him.

"Everybody always wanted him as a counselor," said Huizinga's wife of 57 years, Marilyn of Des Plaines. "He was fun and he was funny. A very good teacher. I know that he always brought home work in cardboard boxes. He was very well liked."

The couple lived in Mount Prospect for 46 years and moved to Des Plaines after Huizinga became ill.

A celebration of life memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, at the Metropolis Ballroom, 6 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mount Prospect Public Library, 10 S. Emerson St.

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
Latest Video

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    MarketsReport

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity

    BusinessDirectory

    Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

    Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.