R. Jon Stouky, a friend of the Baltimore & Chesapeake Steamboat Company (B&CSC), a former N/S SAVANNAH shipmate and present-day maritime preservationist passed away at age 74 on October 2, 2012, in Florida.
Jon is well known for his association with the SAVANNAH. Members of the B&CSC had the pleasure of working with Jon in July of 2009 during the 50th anniversary of the SAVANNAH’s launch. The B&CSC has been a part of the SAVANNAH’s annual National Maritime Day recognition every year since then, helping with logistics and programming, serving as docents, and creating the wreaths for its annual wreath-laying ceremony.
Many know that Jon served in several capacities with the SAVANNAH, both underway and shore-side, in its nuclear program back when both he and the ship were in their youth starting in 1962. He then went on to a 51-year career in the commercial nuclear industry, founding Mega-Tech Services, Inc. in 1988. Decommissioning, maintenance, and operational aspects of nuclear power plant management were areas of specific expertise for Jon, including spent nuclear fuel handling and storage and waste processing. In addition, he developed techniques and tools for the processing of irradiated and contaminated equipment and components. He also authored several books and reports concerning nuclear issues.
Managing the radiological and non-radiological support for the characterization program on the U.S. Army Nuclear Barge STURGIS, Jon also served as Project Manager for the barge’s contractor engineering support services in the Panama Canal Zone and preliminary decommissioning efforts.
Jon was involved in reviewing and recommending options to a nuclear utility company regarding the development of an Interim Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) and the selection of appropriate spent fuel storage containers.
Jon came back to his roots just at the turn of the 21st century and was the driving force behind the United States Maritime Administration’s (MARAD’s) decision to finally “do something” with the SAVANNAH.
It is difficult to say whether or not MARAD ever would have done the things that were accomplished over the past decade if it weren’t for Jon’s dedication and encouragement. The maritime community will forever be in his debt.
Jon’s presence can be felt throughout the SAVANNAH. Every day, entering through the sideport hatch into the Main Lobby, visitors are surrounded by what Jon was able to accomplish. The original orange space-age couch that he had reupholstered; Admiral McCready’s uniform and memorabilia; the builder’s model of the Nuclear Ship SAVANNAH that he acquired at a Christie’s auction in 2007; the master model of the original 1819 Steam Ship SAVANNAH that he had commissioned many years ago; the re-dedicated landmark plaque displays — all of these are tangible evidence of Jon’s devotion to the ship.
Many who have or will experience the SAVANNAH’s grandeur should be grateful for the people like Jon who cared so very much for her in the past. It is a tremendous legacy.
We in the maritime heritage community send our sincerest condolences to Jon’s family, especially thanking his wife, Martha, and sons, Kevin and Joseph, and their families, as well as Jon’s friends and colleagues, and the current staff of the SAVANNAH and its Association for sharing him with us. May we continue to restore the SAVANNAH as Jon envisioned when he first plied the waters aboard her.
N/S SAVANNAH ASSOCIATION Board of Directors
Jon Stouky – Former Chairman
Jon [was most recently] serving as Nuclear Advisor and acting Facility and Site Manager for the N.S. Savannah decommissioning project. He has been involved with the N.S. Savannah in various capacities since 1962 when he helped establish the Galveston, TX service facilities and commissioned the NSV ATOMIC SERVANT (service barge). Jon was licensed on the reactor and assisted in returning the N.S. Savannah to service in 1963-64 managing special maintenance and engineering functions. He joined NUS in 1966 and worked in executive positions for several major nuclear contractors until he formed Mega-Tech Services, Inc. in 1988. He was responsible for managing the radiological characterization of the ship in 2005.
Special thanks to N/S SAVANNAH’sProject Director and Jon’s long-time friend, Erhard Koehler of MARAD, for providing some of the information used in this announcement.