03-Oct-2013: John Withrow passed away

withrowIt is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John Alexander Withrow. John was seconded to the IOC between 1985-1988 and again between 1991-1998 as a Senior Technical Secretary, working for IODE under the leadership of Iouri Oliounine. 

John was born in Arlington, VA and grew up in the Western U.S. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1971, he served three tours in Vietnam. John left the Navy in 1976 to join the U.S. NOAA Corps. as a scientist/officer serving on several research ships based in Seattle, WA. During this time, he completed a Masters in Ocean Engineering at the University of Washington. His ships worked off the western coast of the U.S. and South America.
In 1985, the NOAA Corps. seconded John to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. In 1988, John was assigned to the U.S. Coastal Ocean office in Washington, D.C. before returning in 1991 to /IOC UNESCO in Paris for seven more years. After retiring from the NOAA Corps, John worked for Anteon and General Dynamics in Northern Virginia after becoming certified in several computer systems. While designing logistical platforms for the U.S. military, he made several trips to the Middle East and Afghanistan.
Eight years later, he moved with his wife to North Carolina to be near his daughter's family. He joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary and volunteered at the Raleigh recruiting office of the U.S. Coast Guard. He also served as a staff officer with a special interest in ridding NC waters of hazardous plant and animal species. John thoroughly enjoyed golfing, spending time with his children and granddaughters, and bird watching. He fought pulmonary fibrosis for two years with the help of a dedicated team of doctors at Duke Clinic and Hospital. Meribeth, his wife and partner, Amy and Eric his children, Trevor and Christine, his son and daughter-in-law, and granddaughters Emily and Allison were gifted by the love of this gentle man of great conviction and character. Memorial gifts will be given to the Duke University Medical Center Lung Research Program. They can be sent to the family.

At IOC we remember John as a truly kind man who brigtened up the office and helped build our IODE. As one of the fathers of OceanPC (together with Murray Brown and Harry Dooley) he paved the way for today's OceanTeacher. He was also active in remote sensing (ocean colour data). Members of the IODE community who wish to offer their condolences can do so through Peter Pissierssens (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) who will pass them on to Meribeth Withrow.

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