Former Durango West resident John Brayton Dreszer, affectionately known as “JB,” died Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, in Albuquerque of a massive stroke. He was 88.
Mr. Dreszer was born “Jan” in 1924 in Poland. His family escaped Nazi-occupied Poland in 1941, and settled in West Branch, Mich. Upon graduating from West Branch High School in 1943, he joined the U.S. Army and proudly fought for his country under Gen. Patton, his family said.
After the war, he studied at the University of Michigan and became a true engineering “geek” before the term was popular. He spent his whole career at what he affectionately called “Generous Electric” (GE), first working on jet-engine design in Cincinnati.
He married Norma Elizabeth Young in 1951 in Washington, D.C. In 1963, the family, now including four children, moved from the nation’s capital to Houston for the space program. There he spent his workdays contributing to Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and the Space Shuttle programs and his weekends boating on Galveston Bay.
The couple was divorced June 29, 1967, in Houston.
He married Mary Hoffman Squares on Dec. 7, 1968, in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
After he retired, they moved to Durango West in 1987. Mr. Dreszer was known around Durango as always cheerful and generous, liking nothing better than to spend the early evening with a beer and a friend or two. In 2008, he moved to Albuquerque but missed his Durango home, his family said.
He is survived by his sons Peter Dreszer of San Diego, Tim Dreszer of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Bruce Dreszer; daughter, Cindy Davis, of San Diego; 10 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Friends and acquaintances who want to honor his memory are asked to contribute to his favorite cause by drinking a beer and shooting the bull. To paraphrase him, “he ain’t lost none, and he ain’t coming back.”