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 John Justin Desmond  (1920 - 2012)

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Lived/Active: Florida/New York/New Jersey / Asia/Africa      Known for: drawing, painting, ship designs

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John Justin Desmond
An example of work by John Justin Desmond
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is an obituary of the artist.

John Justin Desmond, 92, of Weeki Wachee, FL on Wednesday August 15, 2012, at Spring Hill Health & Rehabilitation Center.

He was born May 6, 1920 in Jersey City, NJ to John P. and Agnes (Byrnes) Desmond. Wartime service in the US Navy took him to China, where he worked for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. In 1948, he married Janina Hardoon in Shanghai, China.

He earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University and a Masters degree in Engineering from the University of South Florida. His work as a Professional Engineer took him to Indonesia, Malaysia, Libya, Puerto Rico, and Colombia.

After retirement, he volunteered as an English language teacher to adults in Hernando County.
He supported the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts and the Florida Orchestra. With wife Janina, he co-founded the John J. Desmond Jr. scholarship fund at USF College of Engineering.

He was a President's Council donor at USF. He was a proud American and a lifelong Republican.

He is survived by his children Maureen, Kathleen, Timothy, Siobhan, and Brian; twelve grandchildren; his sister, Mary Ellen; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, his wife Janina, son John Jr., daughter Jeannine, sisters Geraldine, Colette, Dolores, and brother Gerald.


Biography from Burchard Galleries Inc:
John Justin Desmond, P.E., MSEM (1920-2012) was a professional engineer who specialized in petrochemical and process industries.  He was born in New Jersey, USA.  Before WW II, he drafted ship designs at Gibbs & Cox, New York City.  After WW II, he lived in China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and North Africa, where he experienced many styles of art.
In Malaysia, John studied drawing, watercolor, and oil painting under Karl-Friedrich Bendlin, who also taught Tuanku Jafar, the DYMM Yang di Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan and the future king of Malaysia.  Karl-Friedrich Bendlin fostered in John a passion for aboriginal sculptures by the native peoples of Malaya. 

Thus, John often created structured compositions that drew on his appreciation of many cultures.  Later in life, he studied with Diane Becker, a Hernando County, Florida artist and painter.

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