JOHN DWYER EGGERT

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John Dwyer Eggert, 72, accomplished astro-physicist, master teacher, and avid birder, died Thursday, July 11, 2013. John was born in Huntington, New York, to Lambert and Mary (Dwyer) Eggert, and shared his early life with his parents and two older sisters, Maryann and Helen. He graduated summa cum laude from St. Dominic's Catholic High School (Oyster bay, NY), where his outstanding height made him a sought-after varsity basketball player. His enthusiasm for basketball never waned, and March Madness was always a celebrated tradition in the Eggert household. John continued his education at St. John's University, Queens, NY, where he graduated with honors and received a bachelor's degree in Physics. For his graduate degree in Astronomy, John attended Rensselaer Polytechnic University, in Troy, NY, where he also graduated with honors. John met his future wife, Marie McQuade, while studying at St. John's University, and went on to marry his college "sweetheart," August 8, 1964, at Holy Child Jesus Catholic Church, Queens, New York. Marie said that what "caught her eye" where John was concerned, was "the picture of Albert Einstein" on his desk…not your "typical family photos" she went on to comment, with a twinkle in her eye. After marrying, John took a position as a research scientist for Northrup
Engineering, and later at Brown Engineering, in Huntsville, Alabama, where he was sub-contracted for work on the Apollo Space Program. While in
Huntsville, John assisted in renovating the Astronomical Observatory there, in tandem with the then-president, Werner Von Braun. Together, they organized a series of lectures and observation session for the community. John's involvement in the Huntsville Community continued when he became an adjunct-professor of astronomy at the University of Alabama (Huntsville). At this point (in the late 60's), John recognized that he enjoyed teaching even more that researching, and when the Florida Junior College system was being established, he applied and was accepted to become a Professor of Physical Science, Physics, and Astronomy at then-Daytona Beach Junior College. He had found his avocation, and for 38 years, he was enthusiastic about his teaching, and greatly enjoyed the collegiality and "inspired" pranks of his fellow science faculty members. During the many summer vacations away from his community college teaching, John, his wife, and young children explored most of the U.S. National Parks where they enjoyed camping, hiking, and birding. For more than 30 years, John helped organize the Audubon Society's Annual Christmas bird-counts. John is survived by his wife of 49 years, Marie Francis; his daughter, Maureen Anne, and his son David Joseph, as well as nieces, nephews, and innumerable cousins. The funeral service for John's New York family and friends will be held at St. James Roman Catholic Church, Setauket, NY, at a time yet-to-be-announced. In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made in John's name to The Nature Conservancy Fund or a .



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Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on July 16, 2013
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