In Memoriam: John Baitsell


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with deep sorrow the death on May 27, 2015 of former Honorary Member, John M. Baitsell, Sr. 

John and his wife Carol became WHOI Associates in 1986.  John was elected a Member of the Corporation in 1993; he was elected an Honorary Member in 2000.  John also participated in the WHOI Science Partnership Program.  A great admirer and supporter of WHOI ships, John enjoyed spending time with WHOI marine crew and operations personnel, often meeting them for coffee at the local Pie in the Sky café in Woods Hole.

John Morton Baitsell was born in New Haven, Connecticut on September 1, 1929.  He was the son of the late Dorothy (Horning) Baitsell and the late Professor George Alfred Baitsell.   John graduated from Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut, earned a BS degree from Yale University in 1951, and received his MBA and DBA degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.  He served in the US Navy during the Korean War as an officer in charge of the flight deck on the USS Essex. 

Dr. Baitsell began his career as an Assistant Professor at Harvard Business School.  He was recruited by Mobil Oil Corporation (now Exxon Mobil), where he held the position of Corporate Industrial Relations and Regulatory Affairs Manager until his retirement. 

Over his career, John was affiliated with numerous groups: Chairman Emeritus, Employment Policy Foundation; Chairman of the Advisory Council of Cornell Industrial Relations School; Executive Committee of the Labor Policy Association; and a former Member of the Economic Research and Employee Relations committees of the Business Roundtable.  He was also co-author of Problems in Labor Relations (McGraw Hill, 1964, 3rd edition). 

John’s interests included golf, tennis, and sailing; he taught many children to sail in Great Harbor in Woods Hole.  He had been a member of Quissett Yacht Club, Woods Hole Golf Club, and Woods Hole Yacht Club. 

John and Carol resided in Jupiter, Florida; they spent summers at Gosnold Road in Woods Hole, at the same home that has been in the Baitsell family for over 85 years.  In addition to his wife, Carol (Todd) Baitsell, to whom he was married for over 50 years, he is survived by two children, Sarah (Baitsell) Oliver and John M. Baitsell, Jr., and four grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, July 24th at the Church of the Messiah, 22 Church Street, Woods Hole.



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