Jakob Wohn, at 78
Jakob Wohn of Hull died peacefully, after a long illness, on Jan. 17. He was 78.
Predeceased by his “sweetheart” and loving wife, Mary Hennessey Wohn, he was the son of the late Eva and Joseph Wohn.
Mr. Wohn was born in 1938 in Rothammel, Russia. His family moved to Siberia, then Minsk, White Russia, Lizmannstadt, Poland, and Lohfelden, Germany. In 1952, the Wohn family moved to Chicago.
One of six children, he is survived by his loving sister and brother-in-law, Litwina “Lena” and Jacob Bathneier, of Chicago, and many nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by brothers Alex, Clemens, and Johan, and sisters Maria and Kather.
Mr. Wohn, known as Jake, had impressive work experience. He fondly would talk about his first job, as an usher at the Belmont Theater in Luckey, Ohio. He earned an associate’s degree at Devry University in Chicago in electronics technology, then went on to DePaul University and the Illinois Institute of Technology.
He began his electronics career at Webcor Corp. in Chicago and shortly thereafter went to work at Dearborn Observatory at Northwestern University, where he became involved in design fabrication and installation of telescope drives and tube and transistor amplifiers. In 1963, he transferred to Las Cruces, New Mexico to continue electronics and observer experience with Dearborn Observatory. He then accepted a position with the Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory and told Northwestern he wanted to widen his experience in the field and take the opportunity to travel and live overseas.
For more than 20 years he coordinated laser-engineering operations for the Smithsonian global network of satellite stations; designing systems and formatting diagnostic procedures in Argentina, Arizona, Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Italy, Peru, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden.
As a master observer and laser engineer, he worked with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and NASA and was consistently given accolades because of his knowledge of all facets of laser installation in the area of high-power switch systems. He often worked seven days a week, up to 16 hours a day, reporting to private and federal agencies.
It was in Arequipa, Peru that Mr. Wohn met the love of his life, Mary, in the 1960s and they spent many happy years in Hull. He could have endless conversations on her boogie-board talents in the ocean at Nantasket Beach. All who loved him dearly – social workers, caretakers, health aides – will miss his delightful stories of adventures traveling around the world.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the visiting hours on Friday, 9:30-10:30 a.m., in the Pyne Keohane Funeral Home, 21 Emerald St., Hingham. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Ann’s Church, Hull at 11 a.m., with burial to follow, at Hull Village Cemetery.
For online condolences, visit www.Keohane.com
Jakob Wohn, at 78