Dr. John Hoyt Painter Ph D
March 27, 1934 ~ May 28, 2022
Resided in: College Station, Texas
John Hoyt Painter went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on (May 28, 2022, in his home in College Station, Texas. He was 88 years of age. He was the only child of Paul and Marjorie Painter. Visitation will be held at Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Centers in Bryan, Texas on Friday, June 3, 2022, at 5 to 7:00 pm. His sons and grandsons will be pallbearers in the funeral to be held at Parkway Baptist Church in College Station, Texas on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at 2:00 PM. John’s burial site, in the Aggie Field of Honor Cemetery, is under the final approach to Runway 18 at College Station airport. John’s final approach was to heaven.
Dr. Painter was born on March 27, 1934, in Winfield, Kansas. At age 11 his family moved to the south side of Chicago until 1948. They then moved to Champaign, Illinois, where his father became a Professor of Music at the University of Illinois. John graduated from Champaign Senior High School in 1952. He also became licensed as an amateur radio operator that summer, with the call-sign W9VKE. He remained licensed until his date of death with his current call-sign, W5LQS.
In 1953, John joined the United States Air Force as an Aviation Cadet. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and rated as a Navigator in early 1955. At mid-year he married a Houston girl, Joy Lou Vaughan. They were stationed at the hardship outpost of Palm Beach Air Force Base, Florida.
The Painter family left active duty in 1958, following the births of two little boys, John Mark and Paul Burton. They returned to Champaign, Illinois, where John went to college on the Korean War G.I. Bill. Graduating with an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1962, the Painter family went to Houston, to this new outfit named NASA.
NASA-Houston marked another turning point in the life of John and his family, opening up John’s professional future. At Houston he taught radio to the Gemini and Apollo astronaut classes, including the men who would walk on the Moon.
As an Apollo engineer, John helped design the astronauts’ lunar radio system. That radio enabled Mission Control to monitor the condition of the astronauts and their three vehicles, as well as see and talk with them. It provided the digital tracking data from which their orbits could be computed. In 1963, their third little boy, William Vaughan, was born in Houston.
The Painter family left Houston in 1965, and moved to Mesa, Arizona, where John worked for the company that made the Apollo radios. But, that venture into the world of business was cut short by an event that happened on January 27th, 1967.
John was tremendously impacted by the deaths of astronauts Roger Chaffee, Ed White, and Gus Grissom in the Apollo-1 fire. John had talked to Roger on the phone, just the day before. So, John shifted his career thinking to the family’s long-term future.
John decided to go back to work for his old NASA boss, who had returned to NASA-Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. There, John would be able to pursue the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering. So, in 1967 the family moved, yet again, including their newly born daughter, Joy Lynn.
John spent seven years at NASA-Langley, obtaining the Ph.D. degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, in 1972. Two years later, Texas A&M appointed him as Associate Professor. So, the family moved, one last time. At Texas A&M, John spent twenty-five happy years, teaching some of the finest young minds in the world.
For 25 years at A&M, John also did research in radio communication, funded by NASA, USAF, and other agencies and companies. In 1999, he retired as Professor of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Aerospace Engineering. During retirement, he worked part-time as a contractor for the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center in College Station. There, he was a Controller in training exercises for First Responders, in many Texas cities.
John Painter is survived by his sons, Mark, with spouse, Carol, Paul, with spouse, Laura, and William, and daughter, Joy Lynn. Also surviving are nine grandchildren, and 10, soon to be 11, great grandchildren.