His beloved wife, Nellie, died on March 21, 1985 from cancer.
It has been reported that on the 21st of ever month Wooden would visited his wife’s grave, writing a love letter to her which he would later place in an envelope and add to the other letters that amassed over the years on the pillow she slept on during their life together.
Wooden was a devout Christian. He read the Bible daily and attended the First Christian Church. But, his wife’s death forced him to confront and question his faith.
He has been quoted as saying that basketball "is of small importance in comparison to the total life we live. There is only one kind of life that truly wins, and that is the one that places faith in the hands of the Savior.”
Upon graduating from grammer school Wooden’s father gave him a Seven Point Creed to which he tried to lived by for the rest of his life:
Be true to yourselfWooden is also the author of The Pyramid of Success, a philosophy for winning at basketball and at life:
Make each day your masterpiece
Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible
Make friendship a fine art
Build a shelter against a rainy day
Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day
In an interview I once watched, John Wooden described himself politically as a "liberal Democrat," though he admitted to voting for a few Republican presidential candidates.