John Preston

Obituary of John Richard Preston

John Richard Preston, 75, of State College, died Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at Juniper Village At Brookline.

Born July 20, 1945, in Graceville, MN, he was the son of the late Richard John and Elizabeth Jane Paul Preston. On May 17, 1985 he married Delbra Jan Anderson, who survives.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by seven siblings, Brian Preston and his wife Ruth of Sidney, OH, Michael Preston of Springfield, MA, Ann Maria Colcord and her husband Tom of Feeding Hills, MA, Paula Preston of Feeding Hills, MA, Elizabeth "Beth" Albridge and her husband Jim of Gardner, MA, Dorothy Preston and her husband Peter Schreiner of Fitchburg, MA, Lisa Preston and her husband Steve Berryman of Milwaukee, WI, and 16 nieces and nephews.

John graduated from Cathedral High School in Springfield, MA in 1963. He earned his B.S. degree in Physics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA in 1967. He earned his master's degree in Physics from University of Maryland, College Park, MD in 1973. He earned his M.S.E.E. Degree in Physics from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. in 1981. He earned his PhD in Acoustics from Pennsylvania State University in 2002. He worked as Senior Research Associate at the Applied Research Laboratory for Penn State University until his retirement in 2015, and continued to work with ARL as Emeritus Research Associate for several years after his retirement. Earlier in his career, he was employed by Tetra Tech, Inc. in Rosslyn, VA, Honeywell, and was Vice President of Amron Corporation in Washington, D.C. He worked with NAWC, ONR and NATO. From 1989 to 1994, he worked at the NATO Undersea Research Centre in La Spezia, Italy. He was also co-author of the book, "Ocean Reverberation" with D.D. Ellis and H.G. Urban.

John loved his work and his family. He also loved woodworking, skiing, sailing, canoeing, bluejeans & flannel shirts, driving his Porsches, his cats...and Cheerios.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research at

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at or visit us on Facebook.

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