John A. Weeks (Environmental Educator) 96, passed peacefully on March 17, 2021 in Syracuse, NY. John was born in Albion, NY, in 1924 to parents Edwin and Sarah. He graduated from Albion High School, where he met his future wife, Esther. He and Esther married in 1946 after he returned from WWII and lived in Ithaca while he was studying at Cornell. He received his BS degree from Cornell University and his Masters from Syracuse University. After graduation, he worked for the NY State Conservation Department as a conservation land manager. In 1957 John and his young family moved to Oswego when he was hired as a biology professor At Oswego State College. John’s vision for a facility where his students could study biology in the field, became the Rice Creek Field Station. In 1966 they moved to Sherburne, NY where John developed the Rogers Environmental Education Center, serving as director until 1973. The family then moved to Baldwinsville where, as Director for Onondaga Nature Centers , he guided the development of the Beaver Lake Nature Center. While in Baldwinsville he launched a newspaper column and a radio short on WRVO called: “The Nature of Things”. He recorded weekly spots for radio for 24 years. Select episodes were compiled into a book entitled: Nature’s Quiet Conversations. (available at Baltimore Woods). As ONC became Centers for Nature Education, John went on to create a new center in Marcellus from an abandoned farm and woodlot, called Baltimore Woods. The couple moved to Marcellus, where they resided for 37 years. A talent in wildlife illustration, a skill he learned from his father, a commercial artist, turned into a life-long teaching tool. With a deep knowledge of Environmental and Biological Science, he became a teacher and mentor to many – young and old. A skilled team developer and leader, he gained the respect of those he worked with, and maintained many friendships with former students and staff throughout the years. He created hundreds of wildlife paintings and murals that he used to illustrate his love of nature. He has had a number of shows of his artwork. Visitors to the Baltimore Woods Nature Center can see some of John’s murals and paintings in the John A. Weeks Interpretive Center, dedicated on July 26th, 2003. While living in Marcellus, he was instrumental in the development of the Sterling Nature Center, Sterling, NY and did selected projects for the Lime Hollow Nature Center, Cortland Center, NY. He also consulted on many other nature projects and centers throughout the state. John and Esther were beloved members of Grace Chapel in Skaneateles for many years, and then members of Christ Community UMC when they moved back to Baldwinsville. John was predeceased this year by his beloved wife of 74 years Esther L. (Bulmore) Weeks, siblings: Edwin Weeks, Eleanor (Harry) Wilder, Wilfred (Helen) Weeks, Dorothy Weeks, and Jean( Melvin) Stetson granddaughter Heather Weeks and great-grandaughter Sydney Raventos. He is survived by his five children: Denise Weeks (Richard) Bush, Gary (Frieda) Weeks, Brenda Weeks, Joni Weeks (Nick) Dyer of Georgia, Don Weeks, and three grandchildren: Ariel Weeks (Ross) Raventos, Katrina Bush (Mark) Williams and Nathan Weeks. John has three great-grandchildren: Sophia Bush, Isabelle Williams and Finley Raventos. A devoted family man, he will forever be loved for his kindness, warmth, humor and caring nature. We take comfort in knowing that he and Esther are united again. Memorials are planned for June: calling hours: Friday, June 25th 4 to 7 PM and a “Celebration of Life” service on Saturday, June 26th, 2021, at 11AM. All at Christ Community UMC, Syracuse. His service will be streamed live on Facebook from Christ Community UMC Syracuse, 351. Attendance may be limited because of COVID-19 restrictions - all are welcome to join on Facebook - Christ Community UMC Syracuse,351 - Facebook page. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Christ Community website: christcommunityumc.com - for more information. Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to: Hope For Heather.org PO box 2208 Liverpool, NY 13089 Gates Funeral Home in Baldwinsville is handling the arrangements. Please sign the guestbook below.
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