Summers, John Edwin

John Summers was a Navy kid, the son of a ‘Mustang’ Officer on the USS John F. Kennedy and considered Virginia Beach home.  He loved surfing, Cape Hatteras, and his car.  From day one of Plebe Summer, John stood out for his maturity and intelligence.  We didn’t know what to call it at the time, but today we would say that John had incredibly emotional intelligence, he just got people whether they were fellow plebes or Firsties.  When academic year started, we found out he also was incredibly book smart as well.  A testament to his uncommon discipline, determination, and hard work was that John rowed crew and could be found in the library every night until the end of study hour.  What also set John apart was that he knew what he wanted to do.  John wanted to design things.  He looked at things and said, “this could be made better.” With that mindset he chose Naval Architecture as his major and excelled.  At the end of Youngster year John decided that the Academy was not for him and applied to the General Motors Engineering Institute (now called Kettering University) in Flint, Michigan, and the Webb Institute, a small but exceptional engineering school on Long Island.  Although we don’t know much about John after he left the Academy, we do know that wherever he went he excelled academically and in an engineering career sadly cut way too short.  John passed away in 1985 from cancer.