Isaac D. Nehama


Isaac David Nehama, born in Athens, Greece in 1926, the eldest of three sons of Dario and Sarah (Kolonomos) Nehama, died peacefully surrounded by family on Nov. 9 in Bethesda. Isaac fought with the partisans during the Nazi occupation of Greece. His mother and youngest brother, Meko, perished at Auschwitz; his middle brother and father survived. Isaac attended the University of Illinois (Champaign) on scholarship and obtained his undergraduate and master’s degrees in electrical engineering in 1952. He served in the U.S. Army from 1952-53.

Isaac had a long and successful career that began at Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey in 1953, followed by the RAND Corporation in California. In 1962 he joined the Apollo Space program. In 1968, he founded his own company, International Computing Company, in Bethesda, which ultimately became a subsidiary of Contel Corporation, later bought by GTE. Isaac retired from Contel in 1990. He was a member of the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board for more than 13 years and received the Air Force Award for Meritorious Civilian Service in 1970 and the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service in 1981. After retirement, Isaac volunteered for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, provided translation services and was a frequent lecturer about his experience during the Holocaust. He was honored in 2003 at the United States Capitol as part of Congress’ Days of Remembrance annual event.

Isaac was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and uncle. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Paulette (Mourtzoucos), his daughter Sarah of Boston, daughter Maya (David) Shackley and their sons Ian and Oliver of Alexandria, Virginia, and daughter Nicole (Michael) Auerbach and their sons Max, Zachary and Simon of Chicago. Private memorial service. Memorial contributions can be made to the United States Holocaust Museum (photo archive division) or the Jewish Social Service Agency Hospice care.

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