He earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota. At the beginning and end of his career he taught at two universities, Delaware and Tennessee Tech. Otherwise, he designed processes for the oil and gas industry, spending a quarter century in Houston, mostly with Brown & Root.
Although a process engineer, John was a “teacher at heart with an infectious love of education,” a student said of him. He was an epic teller of jokes and puns, loved bridge, numbers puzzles, and fixing things, especially electrical. He was a quiet listener who could pull together ideas to quietly resolve issues, his wife, Betty, said. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church.
Jack died June 20, 2019, in Lincoln, Neb., of complications of myelofibrosis, a disease that began in another form 25 years earlier. He is survived by Betty, whom he married in 1962; three children; and seven grandchildren.