Weeks, John Stephen
December 28, 1941 – December 18, 2017
Age 75 of Minneapolis. “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3. Age 75, of Minneapolis, died on December 18, 2017, at Our Lady of Peace Hospice, six months after being diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. Steve was born in Boston, MA, on December 28, 1941, the second of four sons of Sally and Bob Weeks, Jr. He was brought up in Brookline, MA, and in 1959 graduated from Loomis School, Windsor, CT. Steve received a BA from Colby College, Waterville, ME, in 1963, with majors in art and American literature. He lettered in soccer, and enjoyed golf and hockey. Upon graduation he entered Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, and was commissioned as Ensign in the USNR. He reported to USS Comstock (LSD-19) in San Diego as ship’s navigator. He made three cruises to the Western Pacific Ocean with major time spent off the coast of South Vietnam. In 1973, Steve graduated from the University of Minnesota, with a B.Arch with High Distinction. He was Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Minnesota from 1979 to 1985 and Associate Professor from 1985 until his retirement in 2010. He served in several advisory roles, including Director of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, board member and treasurer for the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and department co-head at the School of Architecture. J. Stephen Weeks was nationally recognized for his teaching, leadership and service advancing architectural education and the profession of architecture. For more than three decades at the University of Minnesota, generations of students benefited from his inventive teaching that explored how buildings go together, beautifully and sustain- ably. His research contributions resulted in exemplary energy efficient, low-cost and innovative small buildings. Many of his students, particularly those fortunate to serve as his teaching and research assistants, have gone on to design careers distinguished by deep appreciation of connecting design ideas to material choices. Steve’s devotion to helping students achieve licensure was evident in the many hours he spent supporting individual students completing their degree: advising, mentoring, inspiring, teaching, cajoling or scolding as needed. An active leader on campus and in the professional community locally and nationally, he took on leadership roles in a wide range of organizations and nurtured many students throughout his long career. Steve was a loving and devoted husband, father, and beepah. He married Karen Gorder in Minneapolis in 1976 and together they had two children, Sarah and Seth. Ever the teacher, Steve shared his love of architecture, geography, history and the natural world on many cross-country camping road trips they took as a family. He relished annual biking trips with his three out-of-state brothers, visits to the farmers market, and hosting weekend family brunches. Steve had a great appreciation for beauty and the natural world, evident in his love for gardening which he shared with his family, his neighbors and his larger community as a Hennepin County Master Gardener. At a small ceremony at Our Lady of Peace Hospice a week before he died, Steve received and responded to expressions of gratitude and love from his closest family members. He said, “Our memories together are my great pleasure, and I remember deeply.” It was his wish that a celebration of life be held in the spring with extended family, friends, neighbors, former students and colleagues. He will be interred at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Steve is survived by wife Karen Weeks, daughter Sarah Weeks (John Sandahl), granddaughter Beatrix Sandahl-Weeks, son Seth Weeks (Rachel Weeks), grandson Carsten Weeks, brothers Bob, Dick (Marty Hackett), and Peter (Barbara) Weeks, brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. He was deeply loved and will be greatly missed. Memorials preferred to: Our Lady of Peace Hospice, 2076 St. Anthony Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104 or J. Stephen Weeks Graduate Fellowship in Architecture, University of Minnesota School of Architecture, 145 Rapson Hall, 89 Church Street, Minneapolis, MN 55455. (Published in the Star Tribune on December 31, 2017).