John Meredith, 2007 IEEE-USA President, passed away on Wednesday after a brief illness. A longtime IEEE member, John gave decades of service as a volunteer, with a list of accomplishments a mile long. He served on dozens of committees and boards at the section, region and national level, was active in the Communications and Circuits and Systems Societies, helped organize countless conferences and was honored with awards multiple times. He brought a wealth of experience from his years in the Navy, industry and academia and never gave up his passion for learning. He will be dearly missed.
Following are some personal notes of remembrance from IEEE-USA volunteers and staff:
The IEEE-USA community is saddened to learn of the unexpected passing of 2007 IEEE-USA President and long-time active volunteer John Meredith. He was a dedicated and resourceful contributor who worked tirelessly in support of IEEE-USA and other organizations committed to advancing the interests of the engineering profession. Many IEEE members were drawn into IEEE volunteer service due to John’s encouragement and mentoring – myself included. On behalf of the IEEE-USA Board of Directors, we extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Lorraine and to his family.
– Sandra ("Candy") Robinson, 2018 IEEE-USA President
I think I first met John Meredith while I was chair of the Santa Clara Valley Section, perhaps at an IEEE Sections Congress, or some other IEEE activity. I would regularly run into John at IEEE meetings and events. John was himself a tireless IEEE volunteer, giving of this time and attention to serve our members in many ways. Over the course of many years, John consistently encouraged me to do more in the IEEE. I know that I was not alone in this encouragement. John was a mentor to many people who have become leaders and strong contributors in the IEEE. I will miss his suggestions and gentle encouragement, and I know others will as well. So long John, the world is better for you having been in it.
– Thomas M. Coughlin, 2018 President-Elect, IEEE-USA
John was the epitome of the word “volunteer” – tireless in his efforts for IEEE-USA’s Communications Committee, always bringing new ideas to the table and fostering productive discussion. He was the consummate peacemaker as well, and had an uncanny skill of bridging any gap and bringing consensus on an issue. On a personal level, from the first time I met him, he made an impact. John welcomed me with open arms, a winning smile, firm handshake and gentle tone. As I grew to know and love the man over his years of service, I was constantly impressed how he brought out the best in people and how infectious his positive attitude was. He was also a great story teller and could weave a tale with the best of them. I’ll sincerely miss his avid participation, insightful input and friendly manner. Our meetings just won’t be the same without him. We are all better for having known and worked alongside John – a true gentlemen’s gentleman.
– John Yaglenski, Director of Communications & IT, IEEE-USA
Many words can be used to describe John Meredith: gentlemanly, kind, thoughtful husband, story-teller, consummate volunteer, etc. I would add to that list "great leader." John was a strong and committed leader who always stood by what he thought was right. And he was an effective leader, because of his skill at the art of personal persuasion and relationship-building, and because he worked hard to earn the trust and respect of those he worked with. No matter how difficult the issue or divided the opinion around the Board table, he was calm and inclusive and able to keep tempers in check with his sense of humor and genuine empathy for his colleagues and their concerns. With a tip of the hat to his Navy experience, he knew how to guide a ship through rough waters and keep it on course. He taught me a lot that helped me in my relatively new role as managing director for IEEE-USA, and I am still striving to follow and learn from his example.
– Chris Brantley, Managing Director, IEEE-USA