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Ira Lohman Jr.

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Ira H. Lohman Jr., age 94, died Saturday, March 13, 2010, peacefully at the Forum in Cupertino, Calif., where he had lived for more than 18 years.
He was an engineer, photographer, pilot, and former IBM San Jose Development Lab Director. Born in Jefferson City, Mr. Lohman was the son of Ira H. Lohman Sr. and Ida May Maring Lohman. He graduated from Jefferson City High School in 1933. An Eagle Scout, he graduated summa cum laude from MIT with a degree in electrical engineering, and later obtained a Masters from Washington University. During World War II, he worked for the Dept. of the Navy briefly before being called to active duty in the U.S. Army in 1942, serving as a Major with the 234th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion in Assam, India. In 1951, Mr. Lohman joined IBM in Endicott, N.Y., where he worked in product engineering for the B-52 guidance system. He was promoted in 1960 to Manager of Machine Technology for the General Products Div. in White Plains, N.Y. In 1964, he was promoted to Director of IBM's Development Lab in San Jose, which developed hard disk drive technology. He is frequently remembered for the handmade Christmas vest he wore each Christmas when greeting employees. When he retired from IBM in 1979, he founded Lohman Photography with his wife, Louise. The Lohmans traveled the world taking photographs that he printed in the professional darkroom he designed and built, and sold them at art shows. He was a juried photographer in the Saratoga Rotary Art Show for 20 years, as well as a member of the Portola Valley Art Gallery. Since childhood, Mr. Lohman loved flying. As an Air Transport Rated pilot, he flew all over North America, including Alaska and Mexico. But his greatest love was for his wife and family. Mr. Lohman is survived by his wife of 66 years, Louise, of Cupertino, Calif.; daughter, Linda Spence and her husband Robert, both of New Canaan, Conn.; daughter, Judy Lohman of Dublin, Calif.; son, Guy Lohman and his wife Darline, both of San Jose, Calif.; daughter, Dale Lohman of Los Altos, Calif.; four grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and 17 nephews and nieces. He is also survived by a brother, L. Maring Lohman of Columbia. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Mary Margaret Helmreich and Ida May Bates. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Forum at Rancho San Antonio, 23500 Cristo Rey Drive, Cupertino, Calif., on Saturday, March 27 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to MIT.

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