John Gerhart Honig


John Gerhart Honig, of Washington, died on Jan 30. He was 96.

He was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1923. At the age of 15, following Hitler’s invasion of Austria, he fled to London alone. In London, he lived with a Methodist minister who had taken several refugee boys into his home for safety. When his parents received permission to immigrate to the United States in 1940, he joined them in New York City, where he completed high school.

His first marriage, to Ernie Appenzeller, also a refugee from Vienna, ended in divorce. Their son, Gary, and daughter, Judy, and their spouses, Peggi and Steve, live in the Washington area. He married Elaine Souliere in 1980; they celebrated 39 years of marriage in 2019. Their son, David, was born in 1983, the year John turned 60.

He was a physical chemist with the former National Institute of Cleaning and Dyeing and with the Naval Research Laboratory as well as several defense agencies.

After receiving his doctorate, he specialized in operations research and systems analysis for the Navy and the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), where he headed efforts to evaluate systems for antisubmarine warfare. He also headed a Naval Warfare Technology Group for Minneapolis Honeywell.

As an original member and vice chairman of the Maryland Governor’s Science Advisory Council, he was active in assessing the continuous loss of fresh water on the Eastern Shore, particularly in the Ocean City area, as a result of increased use of vacation facilities on one hand and intrusion of ocean water into the underground water supply on
the other.

In his late 80s and 90s, he served on the Montgomery County Commission on Aging, where he helped develop laws to restore losses suffered by aging and disabled adults as a result of exploitation.

Honig was a founder and president of the Military Operations Research Society, president of the National Council for Associations of Policy Sciences and the Washington Academy of Sciences, as well as a founder and president of the Washington Operations Research
Council. He was elected a fellow of the World Academy of Science and a
fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Contributions may be made to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum or to the American Cancer Society.

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