DR. JOHN A. ATTAWAY, Sr., 88
WINTER HAVEN - Dr. John A. Attaway, Sr., 88, passed away peacefully at his home in Winter Haven, Florida on April 15, 2019.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia on July 19, 1930, youngest child to Forrest and Adnette Snead Attaway, John and his family began visiting Florida regularly in 1938 after his father purchased his first orange grove in the Haines City, Florida area. In 1947, after his high school graduation in Atlanta, the family relocated to Haines City. Following the move, he enrolled at Florida Southern College where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a minor in Citrus Culture in 1951. He subsequently earned a Masters degree in Organic Chemistry with a minor in Plant Physiology from the University of Florida in 1953 and a Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry with a minor in Entomology from Duke University in 1957. While at Duke, he met fellow chemistry graduate student Olga Josefina Sanchez of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. They married in 1957.
After a brief employment in West Virginia with Monsanto, Dr. Attaway returned to Florida in 1958 to begin work as a research chemist at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida. As a research chemist, he was a pioneer in flavor chemistry, helping identify the individual chemicals and compounds that make up the unique taste of Citrus. In 1968, he was named Director of Scientific Research for the Florida Department of Citrus, a position he held for 26 years before retiring in 1995. As Director, he focused on the health benefits of citrus and mechanical harvesting efforts among other things. He served on the Citrus Juices Sub-commission and the Scientific and Technical Commission of the International Fruit Juice Union in Paris, was Secretary of the Florida Citrus Research Advisory Council, and an Officer and Trustee of the Florida Citrus Research Foundation. He also served on a number of other advisory commissions and as member of various professional scientific societies and civic organizations.
During his life Dr. Attaway was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Plant Protection Award of Eminence from the Florida Department of Agriculture, the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association's Annual Research Award for his contributions in improving the quality of Florida orange juice, and the Confructa Award from the International Fruit Juice Union in Germany. In 2001, he was inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame, and in 2010 he was honored by Florida Southern College as a distinguished alumni.
Apart from his work, John had a passion for Ham Radio and writing. He satisfied his passion for writing and Ham Radio by serving for 20 years as a columnist for CQ Amateur Radio magazine. He also is the author of two books, A History of Florida Citrus Freezes and Hurricanes and Florida Agriculture.
John's Alma Mater, Duke University, held a special place in his heart, and one of his greatest pleasures was watching Duke basketball in Cameron Indoor Stadium. But by far the greatest love of his life was his wife of 62 years, Olga, and his greatest joy came from being a father to his four children, and a grandfather to his eleven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
John is survived by his wife Olga, his sons John A. Attaway, Jr. (Libba), and Edward Joseph Attaway (Brenda), and his daughters Marie Attaway Borland and Susan Attaway Dibbs (Scott), eleven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. His family will miss his unwavering love and devotion, his smile and sense of humor, and his gentleness and compassion.
John's family would like to express their appreciation and gratitude to the caregivers who took such loving care of him for the last four years of his life: Olivia Andrews, Teddi Fix, Debbie Davis, Sandra Strange and Dimarcia King. They truly became part of the family.
A celebration of the life of Dr. John A. Attaway, Sr. will take place at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Winter Haven, Florida, where he served on the vestry for many years, on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 10:00 am. Following the service, the family will receive guests in the Parish Hall of the church. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
Oak Ridge Funeral Care in Winter Haven is in charge of arrangements.
Condolences to the family may be posted at www.oakridgefuneralcare.com