Community leader and board member passes away at 72

We were saddened last week to learn of the death of medical center board member and philanthropist John F. Wolfe. Mr. Wolfe was the former publisher of The Columbus Dispatch and a community leader his entire professional career. He died Friday afternoon June 24 at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute after a two-year battle with cancer.

wolfe_featuredMedical center CEO Dr. Sheldon Retchin said, “Last week we lost a great friend, John F. Wolfe. John and his wife, Ann, have been tremendous supporters of The Ohio State University and the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. For his gentle way and humble devotion to our community, John will be sorely missed.”

OSU President Michael V. Drake said that, “In addition to the Wolfe family’s generous and wide-ranging support of Ohio State, John brought vision, perspective and good humor to his service on the Wexner Medical Center Board, always in pursuit of deepening the partnership between the university and the community to our great mutual benefit.”

Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, director of Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, called Mr. Wolfe and his wife, Ann, remarkable supporters of cancer research.

“Through the generosity of John and Ann we have created endowed chairs in cancer research and genetics to attract and retain some of the brightest minds in cancer research.  Further, support from the Wolfe family has facilitated cutting-edge breakthroughs that are positively impacting the lives of so many cancer patients in Ohio and far beyond,” Dr. Caligiuri said. “We will miss John’s leadership and his friendship.”

Mr. Wolfe is survived by his wife, Ann, three children and five grandchildren. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.

The family will receive friends from 5–8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29, at the Columbus Club at 181 E. Broad St. There will be a celebration of John’s life at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at the Southern Theatre at 21 E. Main St. downtown. The public is invited to both events.

Read Mr. Wolfe’s complete obituary.