John Albert Weis was President of the Optical Society of Southern California in 1987-88, after serving as Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer in the preceding years. It is likely that he was Arrangements or Programs Chairman in 1983-84, but no record was kept of those officers back then.
John was born Nov. 26, 1926 on a farm in Henry Co., Ohio. He graduated from Liberty Center High School. After earning his Bachelor's Degree with Honors in Chemistry from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana, he studied physics at Toledo University and Ohio State University.
In June of 1951, John married Margaret Pollauf and together they left Ohio for California, where he went to work for North American Aviation in Downey developing new aircraft and missile navigation systems. In 1955, he transferred to North American Aviation's Cape Canaveral Missile Test Facility in Florida with his wife and two children and became a rocket scientist, working on the missile test program. In 1957, now with four children, he returned to California and began working at North American's Autonetics division (which became Rockwell International) in Anaheim. During the next several years, John continued his education at several colleges and universities and trained himself as an optical design engineer (earning several U.S. Patents for North American Aviation) while Margaret had five more children.
In the early 1970's, Eric Ford (now an OSSC Past President) was Manager of Rockwell's Dual-Mode Seeker Proposal in Columbus, Ohio. He came to Anaheim, CA to work with John Weis on the optical designs for that proposal, while John was taking Milton Laikin's (another OSSC Past President) UCLA Extension Class on Optical Design with David Grey's Optics Optomization Computer Program, developed at Aerospace Corporation. Eric later said: "John Weis changed my life, and convinced me to enter the optics profession also!"
In 1974, John moved his family to Kennewick, WA, where he went to work for Exxon Nuclear as a Nuclear Physicist for their Laser Isotope Separation of Uranium Project. Between 1981 and 1990, John went from Exxon, to Northrop Corp. where he designed optics for the ultraviolet, visible and infrared spectral regions, to Rockwell International, from which he retired in 1990.
John was a veteran of WWII, having served in the U.S. Navy as an Electronics' Technician. He was a social animator of the Pro Sanctity Movement, a member of the Optical Society of America, the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), and was a past President of the Optical Society of Southern California. He was an active member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Kennewick serving as both a Lector and Eucharistic Minister at various times. He was an avid reader and gardener, and loved astronomy, hiking, camping, square-dancing, swimming, jogging, and bicycling. He enjoyed nature, loved exploration and adventure, and enjoyed challenging both his mind and body.
John died of heart failure July 5th, 1998 in Seattle, and is survived by Margaret Weis in Kennewick, WA, his wife of 47 years, nine children and their spouses, Nicholas (Alicia), Mary (Dave) DePauw, Susan (Bruce) Blakely , Stephen (Kelly), Julie (Tom) Wallace, John (Maria), Joseph (Kathy), Andrew (Karen), Paul Weis, 28 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren, and his sister Veronica Dietrich.