Montclair, NJ. – John David Loma died at his home in Montclair, NJ on April 24, 2022. The cause was primary progressive aphasia. He was 81 years old.
John was raised in East Chicago, by his parents John and Rose (née Negrelli). His older sister Janet was also his friend and mentor in literature and the arts. They remained close until her untimely death in 2004.
After graduating from East Chicago Roosevelt High School, John received his BA in Metallurgical Engineering from Purdue University in 1962. He completed his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Northwestern University in 1967. He began his career in the Fundamental Physics group at the United Nuclear Corporation in Elmsford, New York .
In 1971 he joined the nuclear fuel group at General Utilities Corporation (later GPU Nuclear Corp.) in Parsippany, New Jersey. At GPUN, as Director of TMI Fuel Projects, he specialized in primary reactor reloading design and fuel contracting, primarily providing technical support for two nuclear reactors on Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania. After the 1979 TMI-2 accident, John’s expertise became integral to restoring the plant. Retired in 1997.
John was a special person. He was a man of few words, intelligent and likable. His approach to work and everyday life was meticulous and unique, doing things by his own rules with a peculiar sense of humor. His passions were jazz, baseball, photography, travel, old films and old radio shows.
Photography was his profession. His pictures were so good that he could have been a professional. He has been a lifelong fan of baseball devoted to the Chicago White Sox, who was acquitted in 2005 when they won their first World Championship since 1917. His all-time favorite was the Sox Great Minnie Minoso. In music, John’s love and knowledge of jazz was extensive. His first musician was improvisational pianist/composer Thelonious Monk. Many of the artists he loved were gay, including Bela Lugosi, Groucho Marx, Bob & Ray, and Three Stooges. Lugosi created the iconic horror character of the 1930s, the vampire Dracula, Jon’s favourite.
Kristen was the special woman in John’s life. She befriended him in a low-key manner full of kindness and shared his unique sense of humor. She was with him in the end.
John is survived by first cousins David Negrelli and Eugene Negrelli of northern Indiana.
Funeral arrangements were under the supervision of Halpin-Bitecola Brookdale Funeral Home, Bloomfield, NJ. For more information visit www.brookdalefh.com. Burial will be at Chapel Lawn Cemetery, Crown Point, IN.
In lieu of flowers, donations in John’s name may be made to the Mesollam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 300 E. Superior St. Tarry 8, Chicago, IL 60611, or to a preferred charity.