Wilson Hoover Hartz, Jr., passed away on July 7, 2019, in Cody, Wyoming.
He was born on May 1, 1924, at St. Francis Hospital in Peoria, Illinois, to Wilson Hoover Hartz, Sr. and Ferne (Threw) Hartz. He grew up in East Peoria, Illinois, and attended East Peoria High School, from where he graduated at just 16-years-old. He later attended Bradley University in Peoria where he received his Bachelor of Science. He enrolled in the V-12 U.S. Navy Medical School Program through Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, Illinois, and received his Doctor of Medicine at 22.
He completed his internal medicine residency and internship at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy Medical Core to serve in the Korean War. He was stationed at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokusuka, Japan. After his service, Wilson returned to Chicago, Illinois, to practice hematology-oncology, specializing in leukemia and rare blood disorders. Wilson became a faculty member at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he practiced throughout his long career, as well as an Associate Professor at Northwestern University’s medical and nursing schools.
It was there where he formed a relationship with the Chicago Cubs Organization through Ernie Banks and Cubs Manager Rube Verlon Walker, his patients and fast friends. After Rube Walker’s passing, he co-founded the Rube Walker Blood Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which is still operating today.
Wilson moved to Barrington Hills, Illinois, and helped form Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital as their founding president of the medical staff. He was also on the medical staff of Columbus and St. Joseph hospitals in Chicago, and Sherman and St. Joseph hospitals in Elgin, Illinois. He was that rare doctor who made house calls up through his retirement at the age of 75.
Wilson retired to his next love and venture in life in the mountains of Wapiti, Wyoming, and continued his passion of photography and endless pursuit of learning. With a constant desire to learn, he immersed himself in studying geology at Northwest College to later co-author “Kids Rock,” a children’s coloring book about the geological composition surrounding Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
In 2009, Wilson built his very own beloved red barn farmhouse in Frannie, Wyoming. His many hobbies included gardening/landscaping, rock collecting, researching U.S. Naval history and ships, Japanese culture and nature, traveling to the mountains in northwestern Wyoming to photograph wildflowers, cloud formations and the breathtaking mountains.
Wilson is survived by his children Wilson Hoover Hartz, III; Dionne (Jeffery) Boulos; Melinda (Michael) McElroy; Deborah Burrows; Jennifer (Joe) Kennedy; and Heidi (Ron) Presley; his longtime companion JoAnne Wroe of Powell; his sister and brother-in-law, Nancy and William Nesbit, Sr.; his grandchildren Tyler Joseph, Colin, Meredith, Brandt, Kelley, Alex, Craig, Sean, Sophie, Tyler Wilson, William and Ethan, in addition to eight great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 26, 2019, at 10 a.m., at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 47 Dundee Avenue, Barrington, Illinois, 60010 (847-381-2323). Another service will take place later this summer in Cody.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Wilson Hartz Scholarship at Northwest College Foundation, 231 W. Sixth St., Powell, WY 82435 or online at www.nwcollegefoundation.org/giving/give-now (select “Other” Designation and enter “Wilson Hartz”).