John M. Holbrook

June 10, 2012




Thursday June 14, 2012 2pm until 9pm Adolf Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Ltd.


Friday June 15, 2012 10am Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church: 8404 S. Cass Ave. Darien

Burial Location

Clarendon Hills Cemetery

John Martin Holbrook, 61, of Downers Grove, Illinois (formerly Elk Grove Village, Illinois) passed away peacefully on June 10, 2012 following a valiant 18-month battle against cancer. 
 John was born November 3, 1950 in The Bronx, New York to his beloved parents, Martin E. and Margaret E. Holbrook. He was the second of nine children and twin to brother, Robert G. Holbrook. 
 John was raised in Rockland County, New York, attending St. Anthony's Elementary School in Nanuet, New York and Congers Elementary School in Congers, New York. John's love of sports and his athleticism inspired him to join various sports activities while a student at Clarkstown High School in New City, New York achieving four varsity letters in football, soccer, basketball, and baseball for two consecutive years before graduating in 1968. During his college career, John developed his prowess as an intercollegiate athlete excelling as the place-kicker for the Lebanon Valley College Flying Dutchmen in Annville, Pennsylvania. In 2003 Lebanon Valley College inducted John into its Athletic Hall of Fame. 
After graduating from college in 1972, John taught for a year at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He enrolled in Shippensburg University and in 1973 earned his M.A. in Education specializing in Secondary School Counseling. John continued his career as an educator with Bell and Howell proprietary schools as an Admissions Representative in 1974. He then began a long and successful career with DeVry (formerly Bell and Howell) spending more than 25 years in roles ranging from Admissions Representative to National Director of Admissions. During this time his contributions were instrumental in helping build one of the strongest Field Admissions organizations in the industry. John left DeVry for a few years and developed a successful new business with three of his closest friends. After the group sold the business, he worked with Alta Colleges and ITT before returning to DeVry in 2004 as Vice-President of Admissions. 
 John's 40+ year career reflected his love of education. Not only did thousands of students have a better life because of his efforts, there are also countless of his colleagues who developed successful careers with John's support. Many remain loyal friends to this day. John was, above all, an educator.
John enjoyed golf and was one of the founders of the Knicker National Argyle Champions Tour (KnickNAC Tour), which now has chapters throughout the country and raises money for the Payne Stewart Foundation Scholarship Fund.
 Above all else, John loved his family and friends. John and his fiance, Kathleen Kapovich, were devoted to each other. The two enjoyed their life together, working, traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends. 
 John's kindness and desire to help others were well known qualities to everyone who knew him. He never missed a family member's wedding, graduation, confirmation and ALWAYS sent birthday cards and Christmas treats to all family members near and far. For many years he hosted the Holbrook Thanksgiving family gatherings each November in Portsmouth, Virginia. He loved both his large Holbrook family and his large Kapovich family. 

 John was predeceased by his parents and a niece, Rebecca Anne Holbrook. He is survived by his beloved fiance, Kathleen A. Kapovich, and her parents, John and Simone Kapovich, all of Downers Grove, Illinois. John was a loving brother and brother in-law to: Charles E. and Leslie Holbrook of Dataw Island, South Carolina, Robert G. and Victoria Holbrook of Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, Jean M. and Howard Knudson of Richmond, Virginia, Richard J. Holbrook of New York City, Edith H. and Charles Riehm of Norcross, Georgia, Michael E. and Ramona Holbrook of Columbus, Georgia, Catherine R. and David Hettrich of Marietta, Georgia, Veronica H. and Keith Hicks of Atlanta, Georgia, John and Audrey Kapovich, of Downers Grove, Illinois, Robert and Gail Kapovich of Lansing, Illinois, William and Heidi Kapovich, of Downers Grove, and Leonard and Dana Kapovich of Downers Grove, Illinois. 
 John was a beloved uncle to many loving nieces and nephews and several great nieces and great nephews: Matthew and Susie Holbrook; Margaret Holbrook; Sarah and Tom Sebald; Tamara and Brad Smith; Benjamin Knudson, Stephanie Knudson; Meredith and Eric Bricker; Aaron and Leah Holbrook; William and Charlotte Hettrich, Heather and Joe Ossey, Jaclyn Kapovich, Shea Kapovich, Breann Kapovich, Cole Kapovich, Ashtyn Kapovich, Tague Kapovich, Quinn Kapovich, Lenny Kapovich, Jr., Jessica Kapovich, John Kapovich, Allison Ward, Sophia Sebald, Tanner Smith, Joel Bricker, and Desmond Holbrook. 
John is also survived by several aunts and uncles: George and Dorothy Holbrook of Winter Park, Florida; Richard and Lynette Kent of Brisbane, Australia; Francis and Barbara Holbrook; Joanna Kent of New York. John is also survived by numerous cousins. 
 Visitation will be Thursday, June 14, 2012 from 2:00PM to 9:00PM at Adolf Funeral Home & Cremation Services; 7000 S. Madison St. Willowbrook, IL 60527. Funeral Friday June 15, 9:15a.m. at the funeral home proceeding to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church; 8404 S. Cass Ave, Darien, Il for Mass of Christian Burial at 10a.m. Interment Clarendon Hills Cemetery. Info 630-325-2300 or
 In John's memory, his family has created the John M. Holbrook Memorial Award at his alma mater, Lebanon Valley College. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that expressions of sympathy take the form of a memorial donation to this award fund via payment to: Lebanon Valley College (reference the John M. Holbrook Award in the check memo and cover letter). The address is: Development Office, Lebanon Valley College, 101 North College Avenue, Annville, Pennsylvania 17003.