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Ovitz, 99, remembered for community involvement

Published: Friday, April 5, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(File photo by Kyle Bursaw –
John “Doc” Ovitz watches a slideshow presented by Barry Schrader (not pictured) on Feb. 27 for Ovitz’s 99th birthday at a Sycamore Rotary Club meeting at the Jane Fargo Hotel.

DeKALB – For Jane Ovitz, her husband, John, was more than a doctor and a philanthropist. He was an improver.

“If we had an opportunity to create something here, let’s do it,” Ovitz said. “He wanted to keep the pulse of the community where he could then, if it was a good effort, to support the effort.”

John Ovitz, 99, died Tuesday night, a day after he suffered injuries from falling in his home in Sycamore.

John Ovitz was born in 1914. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1935, and then from Northwestern University Medical School in 1939. He was a doctor in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1941 to 1946.

In 1946, he came back to Sycamore, taking over his father’s medical practice. He continued treating patients in the area until his retirement in 1999. Jane Ovitz noted that it is hard to find a Sycamore resident who didn’t receive care from him.

John Ovitz was honored in February by Sycamore Rotary with the Rotary Foundation District Service Award for his many years of service. The group now honors members with the John W. Ovitz Rotarian of the Year Award.

John Ovitz joined the Sycamore Rotary Club in 1951, serving as the group’s president from 1966 to 1967. Jane Ovitz said he was going to resign because of his inability to attend the meetings, but the group’s president refused, and made Ovitz a lifetime honorary member.

Jane Ovitz said funeral plans are pending, but there will probably be some kind of memorial service at The Federated Church of Sycamore in May.

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