University News

John Warnock Obituary

October 12, 2017

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MACOMB, IL – Funeral services for Western Illinois University Biology Professor Emeritus John E. Warnock, 85, will be held at noon Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Bethel Baptist Church in rural Colchester. A visitation will be held from 10 a.m.-noon at the same date and location. Burial will be at the Warnock family plot at Oak Hill Cemetery in Mount Carroll, IL. Warnock passed away Monday, Oct. 9 in Macomb.

He served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Transportation Corps from 1955-57. His Army service memoir is part of the Veterans History Project in the Library of Congress.

Warnock received his bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Illinois and his master's and doctoral degrees in zoology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He joined the faculty at WIU in 1964 as an ornithologist, mammalogist and animal ecologist.

From 1968-1987, Warnock was director of WIU's Alice L. Kibbe Life Science Field Station, located in Hancock County, near Hamilton, IL. He oversaw the acquisition of 1,200 additional acres for the Kibbe station, and he also helped establish and was the first director of WIU's Institute for Environmental Management, serving in that position from 1978-1987.

Warnock published numerous academic articles, was awarded several research grants and academic honors and was a member of a variety of professional organizations. He was also appointed to the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board. He was also a recipient of the Oak Leaf Award, The Nature Conservancy's highest honor.

Warnock retired from WIU in 1987. At the time of his death, he was actively involved in various conservation projects, including habitat restoration and annual bird and butterfly surveys.

He is survived by his wife, Mary; son, Michael; daughter Teresa; four grandchildren and two brothers.

Memorials may be made to the John Warnock WIU Biology Scholarship Fund at the WIU Foundation, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455,, or to the McDonough County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 202, Macomb.

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