John A Sobieski

June 8, 1931August 30, 2021

John A. Sobieski (“Big John”) of Forked River, New Jersey. Born on June 8, 1931 to John and Josephine Sobieski in Astoria, New York. His parents met and married in New York after migrating from Germany in 1927. Before he was one year old, his parents sent him to live with his paternal grandmother in Hamburg Germany. He resided with her until 1936 when she had the foresight to return him to his parents due to events that were taking place in Germany at that time. John attended elementary schools in Queens, New York. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson Vocational High School where he majored in electronics. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy, qualifying for training at the Navy Electronics School at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Illinois.

While undergoing electronic training he became a member of the Boxing Team winning several tournaments and going to the Golden Gloves Heavyweight Finals held in Chicago, Illinois in 1950. Upon completion of electronics training, he was assigned to the Operations Command at the Naval Air Training Station in Corpus Christie, Texas. While there, he was responsible for having an Enlisted Men’s Club built on the base and he resumed his boxing by participating in the local Golden Gloves boxing tournaments. He lost his semi-final bout when his right knee, injured previously during a basketball game, gave out during the second round forcing his retirement from the tournament.

Due to the conflict (Korean War) which began on June 25, 1950 all Naval personnel were re-classified. John’s ability to speak and write German were noted in his personnel file. In the spring of 1951, John received orders to be assigned to the U.S. Navy Rhine River Patrol in Germany. He was assigned to the base in Karlsruhe, Germany where his duties were maintaining the communication systems on the several patrol craft and two Landing Craft-Tank (LCT’S) assigned to the base. The patrol craft made daily reconnaissance runs north to Schierstein and Manheim, and the LCT’S were used in coordinated Army maneuvers transporting several army divisions across the Rhine River. These maneuvers were designed in the event of an attack by Russian troops occupying East Germany. The Rhine was to be the first line of defense for the allied troops in case of such an attack. This never took place.

Upon his discharge from the Navy in 1953 American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) in Nutley, NJ as an Electronics Production Supervisor employed him. He left AT&T in 1956 and joined the Bendix Aviation Corporation in Teterboro, NJ as a Manufacturing Engineer. He was responsible for implementing and improving production techniques and processes on Air Data Computers and Instruments utilized on U.S. Air force fighter aircraft such as the F-100, 101, 102,104 and 105. F-150’s were used extensively in Vietnam.

The Bendix Corporation received a Government contract to provide the guidance system for the Pershing Guided Missile. John was assigned to design and prepare the production facility, floor layout plans, labor requirements, and assembly processes. The contract lasted several years and was highly successful and profitable for the Bendix Corporation. John’s endeavors were rewarded by being appointed to the position of Superintendent of Manufacturing responsible for the manufacturing and delivery of various electronic equipment for military and commercial aircraft. After several years in this position, he was given the title of Manufacturing Program Manager responsible for taking various electronic systems from their design stage to full production capability. These programs included the cockpit display instruments for Lockheeds C5-A Galaxy (the largest aircraft built at that time), flight control systems for the Navy F-14 Tomcat fighter plane, and electronic systems for the commercial Cessna citation. John’s knowledge of these systems and their installation techniques allowed him to travel throughout the country visiting the various aircraft manufacturers such as Lockheed, Grumman, McDonnell-Douglas, and many others.

In 1983, the Benedix Corporation became involved with a hostile take-over of the Martin-Marrietta Corporation in Atlanta, GA. This was the largest hostile corporate take-over battle of its time, and the most expensive. The end result was the acquisition of the Bendix Corporation by Allied-Chemical, which later became the Allied Signal Corporation. Allied Signal has since been acquired by the Honeywell Corporation.

John retired from Allied-Signal in 1986. He established his own private contracting firm specializing as a Manufacturing Consultant and technical writer. His knowledge and expertise in manufacturing processes and controls proved invaluable in generating documents such as Quality Control Manual, Manufacturing Procedures, and Assembly Instructions, which were required by corporations qualifying for Government contracts.

After John’s wife Barbara passed away in October of 1993, after thirty-eight years of marriage he completed his last contractual assignment in December of 1994 to devote his time to complete retirement. John and his wife Barbara resided in Rutherford, New Jersey where they were blessed with three sons, John, James and Jason. John participated in their activities by coaching Little League Baseball and Basketball. He was also active Church activities by teaching CCD classes at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in East Rutherford, NJ for ten years, where he was also appointed as a charter member of the Parish Council. He participated in local politics serving as President of the Rutherford Republican Club in 1981-1982. He served as Chairperson of the Fairleigh-Dickenson University Liaison Committee for ten years being re-appointed each year by both Democrat and Republican Mayors.

In June of 1999, John re-located to Forked River, New Jersey to enjoy his last years at the Jersey Shore. He maintained his own home and his boat, which he named Barbara-Ann after his beloved wife of thirty-eight years. He leaves three sons, John of Forked River, James of Pine Beach, and Jason of Sparta, NJ. He leaves five grandchildren; Patrick, Melina, Brielle, Jared and Skylar.

John was a member of American Legion Post #232 in Barnegat, and Elks Lodge # 2518 of Forked River, New Jersey.

A memorial gathering will be on Thursday, September 2, 2021 from 6-8pm at the Anderson & Campbell Funeral Home, 703 Main Street, Toms River, NJ with a service beginning at 8pm.

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  • Memorial Gathering

    Thursday, September 2, 2021

  • Memorial Service

    Thursday, September 2, 2021


John A Sobieski

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Jamie Burress

August 31, 2021

I am not sure my first entry was captured. I go again.....

I had the pleasure of meeting "Poppy" several times.

He was such a gentleman, very congenial and always welcomed me into his home. it was always a pleasure to be in his presence.

I am very sad to learn of his passing......R.I.P. Poppy.

Jamie Burress

August 31, 2021

I had the please of meeting "Poppy" several times. He was such a congenial, polite, gentle man who always welcomed me into his home. I have wanted to visit him again, but due to covid, I was unable to.

I am very sad to hear of his passing. He was a one-of-a-kind.

R.I.P. Poppy