(Note: Much of the information in this obituary comes from www.deaflympics.com.)
JJ was born in Roseville, Mich., on July 7, 1927. He became deaf at age 7 due to spinal meningitis. After attending various schools in Michigan, he enrolled at Gallaudet College. After graduating from Gallaudet he worked for 11 years at two Washington, D.C. newspapers before returning to his alma mater to teach science and mathematics. By the time he retired from the University in 1991 he held several other positions as well, including director of Gallaudet's first computer center, director of the Admissions and Records Department, and special assistant to the provost. Along with President Bill Clinton, JJ received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Gallaudet in 1994.
After showcasing his talent and skills as chair of the 1965 International Games for the Deaf (now known as Deaflympics) in Washington, D.C., JJ was highly sought after to serve on the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf's (CISS/ICSD) Executive Committee in 1967. He became the fifth president of CISS/ICSD in 1971, a position he held for 24 years until retiring in 1995.
In 1986, JJ received the CISS/ICSD Gold Medal in recognition of his years of service on the CISS Executive Committee. In 1995, JJ received the Olympic Order from the IOC, and in the same year, he was given the title of an Honorary Life Member of CISS/ICSD. He also diligently served as chair of the CISS/ICSD Legal Commission until his passing. JJ participated in the torch run for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, carrying the flame to the Gallaudet campus, where he was mobbed by a cheering crowd.
JJ is survived by his loving wife, Shirley, and many friends from far and near. In accordance with his wishes, there will be no services. JJ would like it that we share the memories we have of him and to do something together that we enjoy through his life.
Posted: 16 Apr 2008