John Alphonse Waak, 83

October 3, 2017

John Alphonse Waak, 83, of Chesapeake Beach, MD passed away on September 29, 2017.

John was born on November 5, 1933 in Danville, PA, to Anthony and Mary Brennan Waak and was raised in Mahanoy City, PA. He graduated from Mahanoy City High School in 1952. He went on to Georgetown University where he earned his BS in Astronomy in 1956. He later earned both his MS and PhD in Radio Astronomy from Georgetown. He married Patricia Exner on November 17, 1962, at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Washington, DC.

Dr. Waak worked as an Astronomer for the Naval Research Laboratory where he published numerous scientific papers, retiring in 1993 after 34 years of service. He was a dedicated volunteer with the Bowie Boys and Girls Club where he served as a basketball coach, baseball coach, and 20 years as the membership chairman where he applied his computer skills in the early personal computer era. John received numerous volunteer awards including the Bowie Blade Top Volunteer award and the Prince George’s County Boys and Girls Club Distinguished Service award. John and Pat moved from Bowie to Chesapeake Beach in 1999 where they were active in their parish, St Anthony’s and where John was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Calvert Council.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Anthony J. Waak and Mary Brennan Waak.

John is survived by his wife of 54 years, Patricia, his children Stephen Waak (Mary Beth) of Columbia, MD, Sandra Waak of Chesapeake Beach, MD, Terrence Waak of Crofton, MD, Brian Waak (Diane) of Bowie, MD, Darren Waak of Bowie, MD, and Karen Waak of Boston, MA, his sister Ann Marie Waak Gimbi of Hazelton, PA, and his grandchildren Ashley, Stephen, Caroline, and Ellis.