On Monday, September 25, 2023, the State of North Dakota bid farewell to one of its most devoted public servants. John Weiss, an intelligence analyst with an illustrious background in criminal justice and a deep passion for volunteer work, passed away suddenly. As of the time of this article’s composition, the cause of his passing remains unknown. John’s life was characterized by an unwavering pursuit of knowledge, an unyielding commitment to public service, and a strong desire to positively impact his community.
Throughout his life, John Weiss carried a profound sense of duty that evolved as he journeyed through education and service. He laid the foundation for a career dedicated to enhancing the safety and well-being of North Dakota’s residents. His academic journey commenced at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology and Psychology.
During his time at the University of Minnesota Duluth, John excelled academically and actively participated in various clubs and organizations. His dedication to community service was evident as he volunteered at a local nursing home, providing companionship and support to the elderly. These early experiences set the stage for his future endeavors in the field of criminal justice.
Following the completion of his undergraduate studies, John continued his educational journey by pursuing a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice Sciences at Illinois State University. During his tenure at ISU, he engaged in a program aimed at instructing “at-risk youth” in life skills and behavioral basics within an educational setting. This experience deepened his understanding of juvenile justice and the challenges faced by young individuals in the criminal justice system.
In addition to his involvement with at-risk youth, John interned at a juvenile detention center and with the Department of Public Safety at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. These internships provided him with practical insights into the inner workings of the criminal justice system and further fueled his determination to make a difference in the lives of those impacted by it.
In 1998, John graduated with honors, armed with the knowledge and determination to tackle the complex issues within the criminal justice field. His journey did not conclude there; he continued his academic pursuits and, in the subsequent fall, embarked on graduate studies in Illinois, further honing his skills and expanding his knowledge in criminal justice sciences.
John Weiss’s professional journey encompassed various roles, each marked by an unwavering dedication to service. He served as a State of North Dakota Criminal Intelligence Analyst, where his analytical skills and commitment to the state’s safety proved invaluable. In this capacity, he collected and analyzed intelligence data to support law enforcement agencies and enhance public safety.
However, John’s adaptability and commitment to excellence were evident as he transitioned to a banking role at Wells Fargo Bank in Bismarck in 2004. This transition underscored his flexibility and his desire to remain part of a company he held in high esteem. During his tenure as a banker, he explored the opportunity to own and manage his own small business, eventually founding Rocks and Blocks Inc.
As one of the three founding partners of Rocks and Blocks Inc., John Weiss left an indelible mark on the landscape supply industry in Bismarck, North Dakota. The company specialized in importing structural products such as aggregates, boulders, concrete pavers, and retaining wall units. For three years, John served as the operations manager, overseeing employees, spearheading marketing initiatives, and acting as the primary sales manager as the company embarked on its journey.
In January 2009, the company underwent a transformation, changing ownership and expanding its services to become Rocks and Blocks Landscaping and Contracting. The new owners made significant investments in the company, including a new facility and other site improvements. Under their leadership, the company rose to become one of the premier full-service landscaping companies in the state of North Dakota.
John’s contributions to Rocks and Blocks Inc. were a testament to his entrepreneurial spirit and his commitment to community development. His dedication, both in his professional and personal life, exemplified his tireless efforts to enhance the lives of those around him.
The State of North Dakota mourns the loss of John Weiss, a transition from academia to public service, business, and community development that serves as a testament to his unwavering dedication to positively impacting the lives of others. As we commemorate John’s legacy, let us continue to strive for excellence in our own endeavors. This is how he lived his remarkable life. John Weiss leaves behind a legacy of service, dedication, and an unquenchable desire to make every neighborhood safer and better for all.