The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of retiree Joseph F. Dawicki, Jr., on October 4, in Sarasota, Fla., after a long illness. He was 78.
Joe was born in Worcester, Mass., to Joseph and Isabelle Dawicki and spent most of his life in Fairhaven, Mass. He graduated from Fairhaven High School in 1952.
For nearly 50 years, he sailed in the U.S. Merchant Marine, starting when he was still in high school, serving in 1951 as a wiper in the engine room on the steamer Nobska. He earned his chief engineer’s license in 1958.
Joe began his career at WHOI in 1962 as a 3rd assistant engineer aboard the R/V Chain. In 1970, he transferred to the R/V Knorr as relief engineer. In 1972, he became chief engineer aboard the Knorr. During his career at WHOI, he was also relief engineer on the R/V Oceanus and temporary chief engineer aboard the R/V Atlantis II. He retired from WHOI in 1979. Sons Michael and Brian also sailed on WHOI research vessels as did his father, Joseph F. Dawicki, Sr., who sailed on the first Atlantis.
He later spent most of his career at the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Steamship Authority, where he served as chief engineer on many of the Steamship Authority’s steam and motor vessels. He was the last chief engineer on the steamer Nobska and was the first chief engineer on the current motor vessel Eagle.
He also served for a period of time as the authority’s port engineer and was involved in the construction and refitting of many of the Steamship Authority’s vessels. He retired from the Steamship Authority in 1998.
He also sailed as a relief chief engineer on Sea Education Association’s sailing vessel Westward.
Joe was a member of the Elks, enjoyed guitar playing and country music, and sailing.
He leaves his wife Barbara (Gifford) Dawicki to whom he would have been married to for 60 years in January; five sons, Michael Dawicki of Falmouth, Kenneth Dawicki of Mattapoisett, Joseph Dawicki of Dartmouth, and Brian and Eric Dawicki both of Fairhaven. He also leaves 12 grandchildren; four great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews, and extended family.
He was predeceased by his sisters Dorothy Olkowski and Josephine Babineau.
A memorial service will be held at noon on Saturday, October 26, at the Acushnet-Wesley Methodist Church, 67 Main Street, Acushnet, Mass.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a local hospice or to the Fort Taber-Fort Rodman Historical Association Military Museum, 1000c Rodney French Boulevard, New Bedford, MA, 02744.
Information for this obituary was taken from the Falmouth Enterprise.