John Anthony Pasko
1957 - 2021
BORN
1957
DIED
2021
Captain John A. Pasko, USN (Ret.), died on 7 September, 2021. He was 64 years old. "JP" was born on 17 January, 1957 to Joseph and Clara Pasko. The son of a Baltimore police officer and librarian, JP was raised as a true Maryland native with a keen appreciation for blue crabs and lacrosse. He was a graduate of Mount Saint Joseph High School, Baltimore, MD (1975), where he was the goalkeeper of the championship winning lacrosse team in 1974. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA '79) where he was a member of First Company ("Fun One"), played lacrosse and majored in Electrical Engineering. In "Fun One," John was known as a smart and caring classmate and teammate. He was a steady source of support and guidance, many times in the background, because he was always a few steps ahead of everyone around him. After graduation on 30 May 1979, John entered Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando, FL. He completed a year and a half of Nuclear Power and Submarine training and then reported to his first boat, USS TULLIBEE (SSN 597) at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (1981). Following this tour, he served as 14th Company Officer at USNA (1984-1986). He subsequently served as Engineer Officer on USS RICHARD B. RUSSELL (SSN 687) in Mare Island, CA (1986-1990) and then as Special Projects Officer at COMSUBPAC, Pearl Harbor, HI (1990-1992). During his SUBPAC tour, he earned his Master's in Business Administration (MBA) from Chaminade University of Hawaii. John reported to USS KENTUCKY Gold (SSBN 737) as Executive Officer in Kings Bay, GA (1992) and then to the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit, Goose Creek, SC (1994) as the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of MTS-635. In 1997, John returned to Kings Bay and assumed command of USS WYOMING Blue (SSBN 742). In 1999, WYOMING was awarded the COMSUBLANT Battle Efficiency "E" Award and the Commander USSTRATCOM's Omaha Trophy as the Navy's premier ballistic missile submarine. Never one to lose sight of the bigger picture, John deemed the pinnacle of his command tour to lie beyond various awards or achievements. Post-command, he would reflect on his time onboard WYOMING and fondly recall the unified sense of purpose amongst his crew, which set their own standards for professional excellence while also prioritizing military advancement, scholastic achievement, and community engagement. In February 2000, John reported back to the Naval Academy as 6th Battalion Officer. A year later, he began experiencing minor shortness of breath during his daily runs. That winter, John was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). A mere six months later, John was placed on a ventilator. He received a life-saving living donor lobar lung transplant on 9 July, 2001 at the University of Southern California. CAPT Don Boland, USN (Ret.) '78 and CDR Scott Fever, USN (Ret.), both fellow submariners, each underwent lobectomies - providing John with new lungs and life. For the next twenty years, John fought hard through numerous health challenges. His incredible determination led to his reinstatement to active-duty in 2002. He continued serving at USNA as Executive Assistant to the Superintendent (2002-2005), and Director of Officer Development until his retirement from the Navy in October, 2008. John began his second career in Washington D.C. after joining the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) in 2008 and became the Board's lead for safety oversight of Los Alamos National Laboratory. His unwavering focus on nuclear safety led to significant improvements at the Plutonium Facility, the Weapons Engineering Tritium Facility, and Area G. John's exceptional leadership resulted in his selection to the Senior Executive Service. He led by example to improve nuclear safety across the Department of Energy's (DOE) Nuclear Security Enterprise. Throughout his DNFSB career, John was a steadfast mentor, confidant, and friend to his colleagues. The Board conferred on John their highest award, The Chairman's Medal, recognizing that John's accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Board, the federal service, and the Nation. Upon retirement from DNFSB, John and Shelley, daughter of CAPT Glenn Arthur, USN (Ret.) '55 and his wife Dot, made their home in Kings Bay, GA. He would want us to thank the countless shipmates, friends, loved ones, and healthcare professionals who helped him overcome his illness and build cherished memories along the way; from walking his daughter down the aisle at the USNA Chapel to meeting his six beloved grandchildren. In addition to his wife, Shelley, survivors include their children, Joey ('05) and Heather Pasko, Drs. Danny and Johanna Pasko, and Jake ('05) and Kaitlyn Keefe; and John's brother Bill and KT Pasko. John and Shelley spent the last six years relishing every available opportunity to spend time with their granddaughters, Isla & Finley Pasko, and grandsons Anson & Lane Pasko and Thayer & Owen Keefe. A funeral service will be held on 9 November, 2021 at 1400 at the United States Naval Academy. For more information, contact Shelley Pasko. Those wishing to honor John might consider contributions to scholarship funds at one of the following: 1. Dolphin Scholarship 2. United States Naval Academy 3. Travis Manion Foundation
Published by The Capital Gazette on Oct. 10, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
Nov
9
Funeral service
2:00p.m.
United States Naval Academy
MD
MAKE A DONATION
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Add a Message


Not sure what to say?



30 Entries
We are so sorry for your loss. I have alot of great memories working with John. He was a truly great Submarine Commanding Officer. Capt Pasko taught us how to be confident and competent Naval officers. His calm demeanor and brilliant guidance for operations of the sub were a pleasure to experience. He always seemed to enjoy his life of a submarine commander, which as one of his Junior Officers made our wardroom so much better, closer and fun. He will be missed.
Jerry Foster
Work
November 7, 2021
We were so very sorry to learn of John`s passing. I am also very sorry that we can not attend the funeral but please know that we will be thinking of you on what will surely be a day full of emotions for you and your children.. with love and pond remembrances of a wonderful, very special man...
Julie Schwarz and Saul
November 7, 2021
Gene and Donna Rodgers
November 7, 2021
John had a quick wit he tried to keep hidden on the boat. He was easy to look up to because of his understated competence. He did not need to be first, but could lead the way. SSN697 86-90.
Mike Chaisson
Work
November 4, 2021
I had the privilege of working with John at the DNFSB. He was a tremendous co-worker and great man. The world has lost one of those rare men who makes a difference in the lives of everyone who meets him.
Ernie Elliott
Work
October 27, 2021
To the Pasko family, words cannot express my sorrow for your loss. John was a great American and leader. I had the chance to visit the USS Wyoming when John was commanding. You could tell the crew worshipped and deeply respected him for his traits and who he was. i could not have been prouder of a classmate and company mate that day. John is leaving a wonderful legacy of service. May God bless you all at this time and help you find peace. Vr, stak
CAPT Mike Szostak, USN (ret)
School
October 27, 2021
Fun One has lost another GUN. Fair winds and following seas shipmate. Will Morris '82 FUN ONE
Will Morris
October 24, 2021
We have so many wonderful memories with John and Shelley. He will be dearly missed! Sending prayers for comfort to his whole family and peace in the knowledge that you will be together again in Heaven!
Ollie and Carrie Lewis
Friend
October 20, 2021
John's and my path never crossed during our naval careers, but I remember him as a midshipman as if it were yesterday. He was a great classmate and a great person. I hadn't realized how many assignments he had at the Naval Academy during his career. He certainly gave back to the institution that gave him so much. He will be missed.
David Emerling '79
School
October 18, 2021
Sending our sympathy on the loss of such a courageous man.
Lani & Jim Ulrich
Friend
October 17, 2021
Dear family and friends of JP´s, on behalf of the United States Submarine Veterans, we offer our sincere condolences at John´s passing. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. We are always saddened whenever a fellow "Bubblehead" leaves on Eternal Patrol. We are grateful for John´s distinguished service to our country in the U.S. Submarine Service. He served aboard the USS Tullibee SSN-597, USS Richard B Russell SSN-687, USS Kentucky SSBN-737 Gold Executive Officer, and the USS Wyoming SSBN-742 Blue Commanding Officer. To our "Brother-of-the-Phin" we say, "Sailor, rest your oar. We have the watch. Fair Winds and Following Seas." Thank you for your service to our country. To family and friends ... may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 ESV John A. PASKO, CAPT US Navy Retired, now on Eternal Patrol. Rev. Ray Fritz (EM1-SS), National Chaplain USSVI.
Chaplain Ray Fritz
Other
October 16, 2021
I fondly remember John from our company at USNA. He was such a hard working, positive, and upbeat person. He had a passion, drive and dedication which pushed all of us to work harder and to set a better example. John was a totally dependable and trustworthy friend and classmate. I'm so sorry to hear of his loss. My wife and I send our condolences and prayers to Shelley and the entire Pasko family.
Jim McClean, First Company USNA, 1978
School
October 14, 2021
Hard to imagine a better, nicer, or smarter guy than John. I have found it extremely rare to find people that are that total package, fun, caring, smart, dedicated, true, and all those other attributes so that when you've been with them, or remember them, you just feel better. We were lucky to have had him, known him, and our loss is heaven's gain.
Frank Hunt '78
School
October 14, 2021
Thoughts and prayers to the family as well as all who knew John. We served on the Russell together and he was always the best. God Bless!
Brian OReilly
Work
October 14, 2021
No better guy to grab a few beers with, go on a roadie with, check out some tunes with, and just maybe get into a little trouble with. A great teammate and friend. A warrior. Very sad under my roof tonight but also very appreciative that he was part of my life.
Longman '77
October 13, 2021
Rest In Peace John. So sorry for you loss Shelley and family. I had the pleasure of meeting and serving with John at COMSUBPAC 1990-92. What a great guy. Very sharp, and funny. We also shared a few runs and MBA classes. God Bless John, and your entire family.
Pat O´Connor
October 12, 2021
Sending many hugs and prayers to all the family . John was such a great friend . I feel so fortunate to have known him and to have been a part of his life . The Pasko family holds a special place in my heart .
Nancy Graham
Friend
October 11, 2021
Our most sincere sympathy to all the family and thanks for dedicated service to our country.
Billy Joe and Vicki Howton
Other
October 11, 2021
My pleasure to have met you, though it was brief. Rest In Peace, and God Bless
Sherri Fondrk
Friend
October 11, 2021
Great childhood friend with many memories of fun times. May you Rest In Peace my friend.
Cindy Johnson
October 11, 2021
My deepest condolences to the family of Captain Pasko. I thank him for his honorable service in the U.S. Navy Submarine Force and may he rest in peace.
Andrew Clark, Executive Director Dolphin Scholarship Foundation
Work
October 11, 2021
We love you John. Your days will continue to be blessed.
Joe and Susan Skufca
October 11, 2021
Fair Winds and Following Seas my friend. God bless you all.
David Glass, MMC(SS)
Work
October 11, 2021
You are all in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. May all the wonderful memories keep John with you in your heart.
Tom & Mary Cannon
October 10, 2021
When i was a youngster in 6th Battalion I had to get approval from the Batt. Officer to take a long weekend for the birth of my niece. I just sent the following message to her, almost 21 yrs later. "Lex, This is the man That approved my leave from the Academy so I could be there when you were born. I was on Academic probation, and there is no way he should have allowed it. But he did. And because he did, i got to see you the next morning and fall in love with my beautiful baby niece. I will never forget his name and what it meant to me that he allowed me to leave. And I hope this story reminds you how good the world can be, and the people in it. Captain Pasko- remember that name. " To the Family; my deepest condolences. But know he had a positive influence on thousands of young leaders. Adam Arbogast USNA `03
Adam Arbogast
School
October 10, 2021
John was my Engineer on the Richard B Russell. There was non finer a Submarine Officer in my 27 years. I laughed when he told me when he went to Cheyenne Frontier Days as the CO of the Wyoming he felt special that the rodeo named a bull after him. John we will meet again.
Danny McHugh
Work
October 10, 2021
John was a class mate of mine @ Mt. St. Joseph class 1975. John was a born leader, always caring more for others than him self. My prayers are with the family.
Christopher Davis
School
October 10, 2021
Mr Pasko was the Engineer on USS Richard B Russell, my first submarine. Mr Pasko was a great Engineer, great officer, kind person, very respected among the officers and enlisted. I enjoyed serving with him. My thoughts and prayers are with the Pasko family and all who were close to him. God Bless.
Phurriott Henry
Work
October 10, 2021
The finest Engineer and Officer I had the pleasure of serving with. RIP Eng until we meet again on Fiddlers Green.
HMCS(SS) John D. Ezell
Work
October 10, 2021
class of 75....RIP John
john s iampieri
October 10, 2021
Showing 1 - 30 of 30 results