MADISON- John Delos DeLamater, age 77, of Madison passed away on Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 at home. He was born on October 12th, 1940 in San Diego, CA, the son of Clarence Delos DeLamater and Ethel Anna Hunter. He married Janet Hyde on May 22nd, 1993 in Madison. John received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan in 1969, before moving to Madison, where he taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 48 years as a professor, becoming the Conway-Bascom Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology. He dedicated his life to science, focusing on research about sexuality and effecting change in this area. He was elected a Fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, won distinguished service and teaching awards, and was awarded the Alfred E. Kinsey Award for Distinguished Contributions to the field of sex research. A former Editor of the Journal of Sex Research, he authored a plethora of textbooks and articles. He was a teacher, mentor, and advisor to thousands of students, family, and friends. His passion for trains was lifelong: he spearheaded Madison Streetcar Inc., and was a member of several railroad museums. Most recently he spent most of his free time working on and operating the streetcars he donated to the City of Kenosha and the Kenosha Streetcar Society.
John is survived by his wife Janet; his children Peter, Elizabeth DeLamater (Bill Sallak), Margaret Hillman (Paul Hilman), Laura DeLamater (Willy Grawe), Luke Hyde (Kelley Kidwell); and his grandchildren Noah, Nick, Katie, Boyd, and Grace. He is also survived by Peter, Elizabeth, and Laura's mother, Ann Rifenberg, and many current and former students all of whom he was so proud of.
Funeral services will be held at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 1833 Regent Street at 10 am, followed by a luncheon memorial. Burial will be at Forest Hill cemetery at 1:30 pm. "This too shall pass" -JDD.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to St. Andrew's Episcopal Church or the Kenosha Streetcar Society.
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I just learned of this news of John's death. He was such a visionary; a supportive mentor who believed in our field and so many of our projects. I owe him much gratitude for his friendship and guidance. My heart goes out to his family - and may he be long remembered and celebrated for his wonderful spirit and contributions.
Dear Janet and family: I'm sorry to be delayed in writing, but you have been in my thoughts since I learned about it. I'm so glad that I was able to come to his retirement party. He was a great teacher and mentor, and always so kind and generous to me (and to all). Sue Sprecher
Marjorie and I were so shocked and saddened to learn of John's passing. He was a wonderful mentor, role model, and friend over nearly 50 years. We were so happy to connect with John, and to honor him, at his retirement celebration. We will always remember John with great fondness.
I, too, had the great fortune of learning from Dr. D (and Dr. Hyde) during my undergraduate years at UW-Madison. Such remarkable teachers! Thank you both! I experienced John as an incredibly smart, respectful, honest, engaged, curious, fun, and kind person/teacher. He had an uncanny ability to relate to anyone, and he was so passionate about his pursuits, one couldn't' help but get excited along with him! I'm not sure how this is possible, being 40 years his junior, but I felt younger/inspired in his company. It seems he had a an Adventurers Spirit, and I trust all those that know and love him have many memories to cherish. I had hoped John might be back out to Denver for another ASA conference, so we could grab lunch, talk smart, and he could see the upgrades to the RTD train/transit stations. I'm saddened that won't be the case. I feel honored to have called John my friend, and I know he is already very very deeply missed. May all those grieving know the depth of his positive impact and experience much peace and healing.
John was my major professor through both my BA and MS degrees in sociology. He was a wonderful mentor and teacher. He once told me that his initial career choices were between teaching Sociology and becoming a Railroad engineer. We all benefited from the choice he made -- to advance the field of sociology as his primary profession all the while pursuing his love for trains and street cars as his secondary profession. John made a positive and lasting impact on my life, and on the lives of many students lucky enough to find their way into his classes and his orbit. We will miss him greatly.
Time doesn't cross over the river
all my time is this side.
On the other bank a house of ashes and a dissolved clock:
endurance of memory
From "If grief smoked" by Eeva-Liisa Manner
John was an inspirational teacher with a unique talent for engaging and supporting students. His actions continue living in and through us.
I remember John well as a long Professor in the Sociology Deparment where I worked for many years. He will surely be missed by many.
I took my very first sociology class with John in about 1975 and switched my major to sociology shortly thereafter. Many years later, I had the good fortune to be John's colleague in the UW Sociology Department. He was an exceptional inspirational teacher and a wonderful colleague.
John was enthusiastic about street cars and saw their potential long before I did. John's vision didn't get built in his lifetime, but someday it will happen and we'll remember John's out-sized role in that effort. On top of that John was just a heck of a nice guy. I knew he was an accomplished scholar, but I had no idea how well accomplished until I read about him today. He was a friendly, decent, humble man in addition to being brilliant. I wish I could have been there today, Janet. I ran into John a few weeks ago at lunch and I'm so shocked and saddened at his passing.
Always enjoyed working with him at the East Troy RR Museum. Pleasant fellow and a good sense of humor.
Thank you all for such amazing words, it is wonderful to see how loved he was in his other families. I am so proud of the incredible man who was my father, and beyond lucky to have had him.
I am not an academic. I knew John and Janet as fellow parish members at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. John and Janet were and have always been very supportive of the ministries at St. Andrew's. When I oversaw the Children's Christian Formation programs they were invaluable. John's quiet demeanor will be missed.
Dear Janet and family, so very sorry for your loss of this very special man. Sending love and healing thoughts. May his memory be a blessing for you (an old Jewish saying).
John was a luminary in sexual science and sociology. He was kind, humble, a loving husband, father, and grandfather, well rounded, and generous. We are saddened by our loss.
Naomi & John McCormick, Cedar Falls IA
A fine friend, graduate student, teaching assistant and matchmaker :-) while with me at the University of Michigan 1965-70. I'm deeply saddened. I send condolences to all his family.
Prof. James Moore
Professor DeLamater was a huge influence during my undergrad days at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was one of several sociology professors who took an interest in me and pushed me to pursue my intellectual curiosity in the form of several research projects. He always made time for his students and you always knew he cared about us and the university. He was a legend on campus and will be truly missed. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends in this difficult time.
Paul R Coffin, 87 UW grad
My parents never went to college. John saw something in me when I was a floundering senior undergrad; he encouraged and advised. He is THE reason I went to graduate school, became a professor, had a wonderfully rewarding (and, I hope, impactful) 30 year academic career with a focus on teaching and learning. As a graduate student, he mentored my research and my teaching, as well as my ability to understand and negotiate graduate school. He will be missed in so many ways.
Dr and Professor DeLamater was an intellectual icon and my idol ~ a great researcher, a brilliant man and truly inspirational on so many levels. His intellect was only surpassed by his kindness and willingness to mentor and to spread joy and lovely grace wherever he went. My deepest condolences and empathy for your loss ~ he is truly missed by so many of us.
I am so shocked and sorry to hear of John's death I have so enjoyed talking to him over the years and ion a recent project idea I know the field will miss him and I personally feel it is a great loss. I am certainly thinking of you janet at this time.
I had the pleasure of knowing John when we were both on and chairs of the Social Studies Division Committee. I was always so impressed by his judicious, thoughtful, and open approach, especially when decisions were tough. He knew how to lead and did such a good job.
I knew John from committees and the Teaching Academy He was a brilliant and generous Scholar and mentor, giving freely to students, colleagues, his discipline and his community. He left us too soon and will be fondly remembered and greatly missed
I would like to express my deepest sympathy to family and friends. May all your good memories far exceed your sadness during this difficult time. (Isaiah 25:8)
John gives a bit of history about streetcar 4617 while waiting at the passing siding East Troy railroad June 2011 4617 would later be donated to Kenosha by John along with streetcar 2185.
John sanding on doors for one of the Streetcars he donated to Kenosha, which was painted San Francisco colors. It was my honor to work with John at East Troy and Kenosha. He was very dedicated to preserving the streetcars. He will be missed.
Janet: I am absolutely devastated. My deepest sympathies are with you, my dear. We will miss John immensely. Sharon Stark
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