Mr. Travis

Mr. Travis

A ‘winner all his life’

John Travis, star athlete, coach and teacher

By Tim Hadac

John W. Travis was a man who helped guide the lives of thousands of high school boys and girls across the Southwest Side.

A physical education teacher at Kelly College Prep for more than 30 years, Mr. Travis died Jan. 24 at age 59.

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Mr. Travis

“Whether you called him JT, Big John, Coach or just Travis, he was your friend,” family members said in an online obituary. “He adored his kids and sports, especially baseball/softball and football more than anything in the world. John lived life to the fullest.”

Seconding the opinion was Tim Maher, a champion-caliber football player, coach and sports media personality who helped coach Mr. Travis during his years at Bogan High School.

“John was a great football player, tough as nails,” Maher recalled. “In 1978, he kicked the winning field goal at Soldier Field in double overtime to beat Tilden 17-14 to win the Chicago Public League Blue City Championship. That championship got the entire team on Bozo! Rest in peace John, you were a winner all of your life.”

In addition to being a powerhouse running back for the Bengals, Mr. Travis was a reliable heavy hitter on Bogan’s baseball team.

Mr. Travis was the husband of Nadine (nee Filas) and father of Sam (fiancée Kristen) and Irene. He was a brother to Caroline (Dan) Sullivan, Diane Travis, Denise Martin, Dan Travis, and the late Larry (Nona) Travis. He was an uncle and great-uncle to many nieces and nephews, and he was son-in-law to Barbara Filas, as well as brother-in-law to Gianna (Bill) Hodo and the late Randy Filas.

Mr. Travis was preceded in death by his parents, Lawerance “Bud” and Irene (nee Chirappa) Travis.

Services were Jan. 28 at the Robert J. Sheehy and Sons Funeral Home, Orland Park. Interment was private.

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