In Memoriam: March 2019

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members


John “Jack” Casazza

Electrical engineer

Life Fellow, 95; died 9 January

Casazza served as an ensign in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1945 on the USS Springfield when it was stationed in the Pacific.

He founded and served as president of the American Education Institute, a not-for-profit company in Virginia designed to train people who set electric-power policy. He had been director of the Georgia System Operations Corp., an electric utility cooperative composed of 38 of the state’s distribution companies, headquartered in Tucker.

Casazza was on the executive committee of the New York State Reliability Council, a not-for-profit company. He also served on the energy engineering board of the National Research Council, in Washington.

An IEEE distinguished lecturer, he was awarded the 1990 IEEE Herman Halperin Electric Transmission and Distribution Award.

Casazza received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Cornell.

Walter H. Delashmit

Aerospace engineer

Life senior member, 74; died 14 February

Delashmit worked on the Apollo and Skylab programs, including Apollo 11 and 13, from 1969 to 1972, at TRW. He left to join Martin Marietta, in Bethesda, Md., to develop cruise-missile technology. After four years there, he left to work for the Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Laboratory, in University Park, where he helped develop torpedo systems. In 1982 he joined Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, in Grand Prairie, Texas, to develop smart-missile systems.

He was an adjunct professor of electrical engineering from 2007 to 2009 at the University of North Texas, in Denton.

According to several published reports, Delashmit received a copy of the Presidential Medal of Freedom from NASA for his work on Apollo 13. He also received a Lockheed Martin award for his work on implementing improved software processes.

Delashmit earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1966 from Christian Brothers University, in Memphis, Tenn., a master’s degree in EE from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1968, and a doctorate in EE in 2003 from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Donald Lawrence Willyard

Electrical engineer

Senior member, 83; died 28 February

Willyard joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1954 and served for three years. Once his service ended, he attended Southwest Missouri State College, in Springfield, for two years before transferring to the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, in Rolla.

After graduating in 1965 with his master’s degree in electrical engineering, he taught electrical engineering at his alma mater for three years. He then served in a number of engineering, manufacturing, and management positions across the United States, including in Albuquerque and Los Alamos, N.M., Dallas, and Kansas City, Mo. He retired in 2000.

Willyard was general chairman of the IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference.

He was elected in 1988 as president of the Academy of Electrical Engineering at University of Missouri in Columbia.

Selected to serve as an IEEE Congressional Fellow in 1991, he was a legislative aide and science advisor to Rep. Steven Schiff of New Mexico, who was on the House Science, Space, and Technology committee.

Willyard received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1962 from the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy.