I Love You Uncle John

  • Posted on: 25 October 2014
  • By: TheKyle

John Robert Nambu, 55, passed away peacefully on October 15, 2014 in Hermosa Beach, California after valiantly fighting heart and renal failure. He spent an incredible and amazing last week with the ones he loved and cherished. Along for the journey were his beloved wife, Barbara Schraeder, and their son Declan of Deerfield Beach, FL, his older three sons, Walker, Dakota, and Jayden and their mother, Patricia Lloyd, of Amherst, MA, John's mother, Dorothy, of Rolling Hills Estates, CA, his brother, Mitchell, and family of La Jolla, CA, his brother, Richard, and family of Glendora, CA, and his sister, Patrice Bach, and family of Pleasanton, CA. His love and relentless sense of humor flourishes in his four sons - Walker (23) aka Walkman, Dakota (17) aka Ducky, Jayden (13) aka Baby Jay, and Declan (3) aka Deke.

John was born May 26, 1959 , in Los Angeles, CA to Albert Takeshi (deceased) and Dorothy Fumi Nambu. His siblings, cousins, and friends enjoyed many lively discussions, hours pool side, and family pot lucks. His fondest memories were of New Year's family celebrations, camping in the Sierras, riding dirt bikes, and fishing the waters of Redondo Beach and San Diego. John instilled the love of these activities and science in his sons. He treasured the time he spent with his sons fishing, cooking, eating sushi, Pokemon gaming, watching and reading anime, and timeless phone chatting and texting.

John embarked on a career in science and teaching. He graduated from University of California at Santa Cruz in 1982 and received his PhD in Biology from Stanford University in 1987. His mentor Dr. Richard H. Scheller indoctrinated John into the world of scientific exploration and discovery. John's dissertation was on the Molecular Analyses of Invertebrate Neuropeptides in Aplysia (sea slug) and Drosophila (fruit fly). John's postdoctoral research included work with Dr. Jeffrey Hall on Circadian Rhythms (biological clocks) and work with Dr. Stephen Crews, on the central nervous system development in Drosophila at University of California at Los Angeles. Upon completion of his studies, he took a position at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1993. His research involved molecular biology, neuroscience, and genetics and was published in many scientific journals. His laboratory's main focus was the molecular genetics of the nervous system development and cell death in Drosophila (fruit fly). He would debate anyone on the merits of using the tiny fruit fly as an experimental model. John served on many grant review panels at NSF and NIH. His greatest accomplishments were the many students he influenced, mentored, and loved. John's passionate love of science, his perception, casual style, and his ability to make one laugh with his pranks illuminated the way for all that worked with him. John greatly appreciated the insights and camaraderie that his colleagues offered him. After almost 20 years at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he continued his life's work at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and Jupiter, Florida.

John will be greatly missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and all who loved and admired him. Please share a classic "John" story, special memory, or inspiration with his four sons through his facebook page or e-mail the message to nambuboys@yahoo.com.

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