John Matthew Wahr

   John Matthew Wahr died from pancreatic cancer, November 11th, 2015 at his home in Boulder Colorado.  He was born June 22, 1951 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to John C. Wahr and Janet C. Wahr, and grew up in Midland, Michigan with his sister, Jan.  In 1973 he graduated from the University of Michigan with honors in both Mathematics and Physics.  He attended the University of Colorado Physics Department as a graduate student, where he earned his PhD in December, 1979, and married Ann Carol Brady, also from Midland, in September, 1974.

   In January, 1980, John and Ann moved to Princeton University, where John was a Postdoctoral Fellow in both the Department of Geological and Geophysical Sciences, and in the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Program.  John returned to the University of Colorado in 1983, as a Professor in the Physics Department and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

   John spent his professional career as a geophysicist, with interests that varied from such things as fluctuations in the Earth’s rotation; Earth tides; interactions between the solid layers of the Earth and the overlying atmosphere, oceans, and ice sheets, as well as with the underlying fluid core; and with whatever else happened to interest him.  He was the recipient of numerous prestigious national and international awards, including election into the United States National Academy of Sciences.

  What meant as much, or more, to John than the scholarship and joy of scientific pursuit, was the opportunity it gave him of interacting with scores of fellow scientists of all ages and backgrounds from around the globe.   The mentoring of students, and his collaborations with so many bright and energetic colleagues always kept the work continuously fresh and alive. 

      But John’s greatest joys in life were, by far, in his family, in music (especially opera), and in the outdoors.   His love of the outside, instilled in him by his parents, formed the foundation of a life-long passion for the outside, which he shared with Ann, and passed on to his children, Katie and Andrew.  He constantly marveled at the good fortune that allowed him to live and grow in this marvelous place in the Rocky Mountains.  He was a passionate hiker, backpacker, cross-country skier, and road biker. He climbed every named peak in RMNP and the Indian Peaks; most of them several times.   He and his family would go on extensive backpack trips, summer and winter throughout Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.

  John is survived by his wife, Ann; his children Katie and Andrew and their spouses Paul Calvert and Kjersti Wahr, his father John C. Wahr, and sister Jan L. Wahr, and was proceeded in death by his mother Janet C. Wahr.

    John did not wish to have a service following his death. Condolences can be shared on the "Messages" page of this site.