Edmund Puddicombe

In 1932, at 18 years old, Edmund Puddicombe started classes at Joliet Junior College, when the campus was located at Joliet Central Township High School.

He graduated in 1934 and continued his education, receiving a bachelor and masters degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana.

He went into school planning to become a doctor. He enjoyed science so much that his mother, who was a teacher and principal, convinced him to pursue teaching instead of medicine. She thought he could make a bigger impact by transferring his excitement about science and medicine to students.

He began his teaching career in 1939 when he became a faculty member at JJC, for a salary of $900 a year.

He taught for five years before being called to serve in World War II. While in the Air Force, Edmund trained and taught others in mathematics and meteorology. At the end of the war, he left the Air Force with the rank of captain.

Following the war, Edmund went right back into teaching anatomy and physiology courses at JJC. In 1969, he continued teaching at JJC at its new campus on Houbolt Road.

At JJC, Edmund sponsored the Students of Medical Sciences Club, and the JJC Flyers Club, another science-related student organization.

JJC was not only the place where Edmund spent his career as a teacher, but it is also the place where he met his wife, Lu, who was formerly a campus librarian.

Edmund was very devoted to his profession and in 1973 he retired from JJC, after making a large impact on nearly 19,000 students.

In 2002, Edmund was named one of the JJC Centennial Superstars for being a graduate who went on to make an outstanding contribution in his profession.

Edmund passed away March 14, 2008. His wife Lu still calls Joliet home. Their two children, John and Diane, both graduated from Joliet Junior College.