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Dr. James S. Wolf, Sr. Obituary


Dr. James Stuart Wolf, Sr., 72, died Monday, August 6th, 2007.

Dr. James S. Wolf received his M.D. from the University of Illinois in 1961. He trained in general surgery and transplantation at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) under Dr. David M. Hume, one of the pioneers of organ transplant surgery. He served as Chief of Surgery at McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center in Richmond, Va., from 1968 to 1976. He was an influential advisor and supporter during the formation of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) in the late 1970's and early 1980's.

In 1976 he relocated to Northwestern University Medical School and served in several capacities until 1994, including Professor of Surgery, Chairman of the Division of Transplantation and associate Dean of Medical Education. He founded and served as President and Medical Director of the Regional Organ Bank of Illinois (now Gift of Hope), the organ procurement organization serving most of the state of Illinois.

Dr. Wolf served in many capacities with UNOS, including a term as UNOS Treasurer in 1987-1988, UNOS President in 1990-1991, and UNOS Director of Medical Affairs from 1994 to 2000.

Dr. Wolf was among the earliest transplant professionals dedicated to public education in support of organ donation. Both with the Regional Organ Bank of Illinois, and later with the Coalition on Donation which he also created, James consulted with national experts in advertising and marketing to develop messages that the public would accept and act on to become organ donors. In his honor, Donate Life America established the "Dr. James S. Wolf Courage Award" in 1999 to recognize individuals who have played a significant national role in educating the public about organ and tissue donation.

James Wolf resigned from UNOS due to heart disease and ultimately received a heart transplant at the Texas Heart Institute in 2001. He noted proudly that, despite his influence in the transplant field, the allocation system that he helped develop treated him the same as any other candidate through-out his eight month wait for a donor heart.

He was known to his friends as Jim and his family as Grandoc. He participated profoundly in his local parish wherever he called home. He loved serving on the Vestry and teaching Bible Study. He was a horseman of international standing and had a passion for sailing. With all his contributions to medicine and devotion to the community this was surpassed by his love for his family.

James Wolf is survived by his beloved spouse, Marjorie; his sons, Stuart and Larry; his daughter, Anneliza; eight grandchildren; four brothers and one sister.

Funeral Services will be held Saturday, August 11th, at 1pm at St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Pope Avenue. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made to Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network, 660 N. Industrial Drive, Elmhurst, IL, 60126.

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