Published in The Washington Post on May 9, 2020
(1926 - 2020)
John C. Wilkerson
On April 20, 2020, John C. Wilkerson, passed away
at the age of 94 in Bethesda, MD due to
complications of dementia.
Born the fifth child of William and Emma
Wilkerson in 1926 in Washington, DC, John lived a life rich in adventure, intellect, joy
and its share of challenges.
He attended Anacostia High School (1944) in Washington, DC, was drafted into
the US Army in 1944, and graduated from the University of Maryland in 1951 with a
major in mathematics and a minor in physics. He then served in the US Air Force
and Foreign Service in Europe.
He was wed to Anneliese Wilkerson in Salzburg, Austria in 1958.
After returning to the US, John worked with the US Naval Oceanographic Office until
1977 and then joined NOAA as an oceanographer, where he pioneered the use of
sonar for measuring ocean surface precipitation and wind. He retired in 2002 after
50+ years of service with the federal government.
John is preceded in death by his brother Oran and his sister Mary.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Anneliese Wilkerson; two children, Susanne
(Charles) Papadopoulos and Scott (Krista) Wilkerson; and four grandchildren.
Due to covid-related restrictions, there will be no public funeral or burial services.