John P. Fishburn, PhD

SACO – John P. Fishburn, PhD, 69, of Saco, passed away peacefully Saturday, April 24, 2021. John, known as “Jack” by his friends and family, was born in Muscatine, Iowa on May 21, 1951, the son of John and Susan (Wooldridge) Fishburn.

Jack attended local schools in Muscatine and received his undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Iowa. Jack furthered his education receiving his PhD from University of Wisconsin-Madison where he defended his thesis on distributed algorithms including the parallelization of Alpha-Beta.

Jack met his wife of 35 years, Lynne, after moving to New Jersey. They lived in the same apartment building and she always said he married the “girl next door.” They were married Dec. 21, 1985.

He worked in research at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J. for 22 years, where he was credited with six patents and numerous achievements in the field of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. He was honored to work for Bell Laboratories, a one-of-a-kind research facility on the cutting edge of technology for its time, where he was proud to collaborate with many of the most intelligent people in his field of work.

After retiring from Bell Laboratories, he followed in Albert Einstein’s footsteps, one of his heroes, and spent the final part of his career as a Patent Examiner for the United States Patent & Trademark Office in pursuit of his passion for sharing knowledge to advance humankind. He retired at the age of 62. In his retirement, Jack continued his enthusiasm for learning and inventing, studying physics at the graduate level at George Mason University, as well as acquiring two additional patents.

In his free time, Jack had an interest in photography and astronomy, combining both of these interests by taking solar eclipse and analemma photographs, both of which were published in Sky & Telescope Magazine. Jack always had a love for music, he enjoyed playing piano and singing in the church choir wherever he lived. What Jack loved most was his family, being a father to three and grandfather to two. His innate sense of curiosity and ability to inspire others to learn more about the world around them is his legacy. Because of these qualities, and his accomplishments to advance science, Jack left the world a better place for the rest of us.

Survivors include his wife of 35 years Lynnette Salveson Fishburn of Saco; a stepson Brian Crew of Wilmington, Del., a daughter Laura Oakes with her husband Nathan Oakes and their son Landon of Portland, a son Charles Fishburn with his wife Julia and their son Peyton of Philadelphia, Pa.; sisters Mary Norman of Socorro, N.M. and Alice Brown of Anamosa, Iowa and a brother William Fishburn with his wife Joan of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

A graveside service will be held at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Saco on Friday April 30, 2021 at 3 p.m.

Dennett, Craig & Pate Funeral Home 365 Main St, Saco are entrusted with his arrangements.

If you wish to remember Jack with a gift,

please consider:

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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