John H. Straub Sr

LTCR John Homer Straub, Sr., USN retired



jk-1John H. Straub Sr., 86, a longtime resident of Pasco, and most recently of Bellevue, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 18th, in Kirkland, Washington. John was born in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York to Adam and Marion Abbott Straub,  the second of five brothers.


John proudly joined the Navy at age 17 to fight in World War II. After the war, John completed high school before re-enlisting in the Navy.  John was a pioneer in the Naval  nuclear energy program. When, as an enlisted man, he completed his nuclear propulsion and  nuclear operation training near Idaho Falls, Idaho in the late 1950’s, John was one of the first 150 people in the world to become certified for nuclear operation.  While stationed in Idaho, In 1959, John met the love of his life, Ida Hall, and they were married October 3, 1959, beginning a union that lasted over 50 years till John’s passing. Recognizing John’s unique fit for the job, then Vice Admiral H.G. Rickover promoted John to commissioned officer and assigned him to be the officer in charge of nuclear power plant installation on the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise (CVN-65, aka the “Big E”), reporting directly to the Admiral. John handled that role beautifully, successfully navigating the many inevitable perils of such a complex, first of a kind project. The enterprise was commissioned on 25 November, 1961 and went on to perform key roles in many marquee US events for over 50 years, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam war, both gulf wars and much more. It seems only fitting that the Enterprise is being decommissioned now, at the same time John is leaving this world…


John continued working for the admiral for another 10 years, successfully overseeing the overhaul and nuclear power plant retrofitting/installation of several major vessels.  John was proud of his 27 year career in the United States Navy and only chose to leave the Navy because of his one higher priority, his family. Wanting to settle down in one location to raise his young children, John landed in Pasco, WA, where he was able to continue service for his beloved country in a civilian director level role at the Atomic Energy Commission and then as a consultant into the 1990’s. He worked tirelessly to design, establish, implement, assess, and refine nuclear safety and operation procedures, continuously striving to achieve maximum safety and productivity. When announcing John’s retirement from the federal government, John’s boss Alex G. Fremling, summed it up nicely: “John has been an invaluable asset to this office. His willingness—his eagerness—to ask the penetrating questions that others will not, his heartfelt pursuit of quality and safety of operations and his loyalty to his bosses, this Department, and the Federal Government have been something to be prized.”


John was also a proud WSU Cougar parent, sending both of his surviving children to WSU, proudly supporting them throughout their studies and graduation, and always rooting for the Cougs!


John’s brilliance, tenacity and love for this country and HIS navy was known throughout the family and by many people around the nation. John epitomized what was good about self-reliance, self-responsibility, and love of family.  John led an exciting and rewarding life with the wife he adored, children he cherished and grandchildren he was able to dote on. He always carried himself with dignity and class. He will be missed by many.


John is survived by his wife Ida, son Eric, daughter Jennifer Korten, 5 grandchildren, brothers Bill, Joe, and Alfred, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son John, Jr. and his older brother Adam.


A family only memorial was held in the Seattle area.  Remembrances may be made in John’s honor to Catholic Family Services, 2110 W. Henry St., Pasco, WA 99301 or the Gene and Irene Wockner Hospice through the Evergreen Healthcare Foundation, Hospice Services, 12040 NE 128th St, MS 5, Kirkland, WA, 98034-3013.”

6 Responses to “John H. Straub Sr”

  • Tori (Bergdahl) Anderson says:

    Rest In Peace, Mister Straub –
    I am grateful, during my years growing up as a little girl in Pasco (with your terrific daughter Jennifer by my side as my closest friend) that you taught me how to properly address & respect my elders, that you showed me the tremendous importance of regular sit-down dinners with the whole family, that you inspired me to join the Navy, and that you gave me the lifelong nickname of “Tori”. I know you’ll be missed & never forgotten.

  • Cindy Straub says:

    Dear Uncle John,
    Unfortunately, we met briefly on a family cruise, and lived on either side of the USA, so we really didn’t get to know each other well. I do have the privilege of hearing many”Straub brother”stories, so I do feel that I know you on some level. I can’t thank you enough for your time and dedication in the Navy, protecting our country so my generation could live In freedom.
    Thank You , and God bless you Sir.
    Cindy Straub

  • John E. Straub says:

    Rest in peace Uncle John,
    I remember the first time I ever saw you. I, along with my sister Betty Ann were on a school bus leaving elementary school in Derby, when you strode up on the bus in full uniform. I remember that big white hat and black (Navy Blue) uniform with all your ribbons on it. As you strode down the aisle to get us off the bus, the other kids started singing ”
    Anchors Aweigh” I still remember the goosebumps as we walked off the bus and you took us home. That was a very long time ago. I believe 54 years has passed since that day. When I was born, you took on the responsibility of becoming my godfather. It is only fitting that I recognize that to everyone who reads this missive. I want to thank you for the care you showed your brothers, parents, and the vast extended Straub family through the years. As they say in the U.S. Navy Cmdr Straub, “Fair winds and following seas” Your nephew John

  • Butch and Maggie Straub says:

    Uncle John, I call myself Butch in this tribute since that is what you called me for 63 years. As the oldest of your nephews I remember you much better. I remember the tour of the Enterprise on my birthday the day before her commissioning. I remember sitting in this big comfortable chair on the bridge and you turning around and seeing me and almost having a stroke for my sitting in the “Captains Chair”. Ironically, our son Stephen, was given the choice of serving on the “Teddy Roosevelt or the USS Enterprise, he chose the Enterprise because of you and the family history.
    The trips Grandma and I took to Newport News were absolute highlights of my young life. Going to the same high school that you, my dad, and your brothers went to was an education for me as well as payback for teachers you five terrorized. All in all it will always be special and memorable for me to have known, loved, and respected the man who called me “Airdale” for going into the Air Force. I love you Uncle John.

  • Betty Ann Straub says:

    Rest in peace Uncle John, I also have the memory of you coming on our school bus that my younger brother John spoke of in his message. It was a moment neither of us have ever forgotten. You were dashing as they say in your Navy uniform, only I didn’t know the word dashing then! I remember coming to visit you and Aunt Ida with Grandma Straub in the summer of 1961 and we took the bus all the way to Newport News, VA. I so enjoyed my visit with you and Aunt Ida and wish we could have had more visits through the years. Jennifer and Eric, your dad was a brilliant and patriotic man and he will be missed by everyone. Love you guys and know we are thinking of you. Neice and cousin, Betty Ann

  • Denise R Miller (Morley) says:

    Dear Uncle John, I had so few times to see you in my life but Marvin and I appreciated so much the visit you and Aunt Ida made to Illinois to see our home and visit with us and our children. It was to great make that connection. Jennifer and Eric, our sympathies are with and the rest of the family. Marvin and Denise Miller

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