Waterford, Conn. — Captain John C. Markowicz, U.S. Navy, Ret. of Waterford, Conn., a naval officer, executive, and civic leader in southeastern Connecticut died of brain cancer on Friday, January 18, 2013.
He was born in Lynn, on March 4, 1944, the son of Stanley and Stella (Buba) Markowicz. He grew up in Salem, where he attended St. John the Baptist Grammar School and was class president at Salem High School.
He graduated from U.S. Naval Academy with the class of 1965 and launched a career in nuclear submarines. His early training as a submariner included completing Nuclear Power School in Bainbridge, Md., prototype training in Windsor Locks, Conn., and Submarine School in Groton, Conn. He served on the commissioning crew of USS Pargo (SSN 650) as Communications Officer and then as Weapons Officer during testing of the Mark 48 torpedo in 1970. Following assignments included Submarine Development Group Two as Squadron Weapons Officer and Engineering Officer on USS Guitarro (SSN 665). His distinguished service in the Submarine Force was recognized with several unit citations and numerous personal decorations, including the Steven Decatur leadership award. In 1976, he left active duty service and continued his naval service through the Naval Reserve. He participated in and commanded several Reserve units before retiring after 34 years of honorable service.
He started his private career in 1976 by joining David and Muriel Hinkle in starting a new defense contracting company in Sonalyst, Inc. and came to live in Waterford, Conn. He helped the small company grow from a one floor office building of six employees to become Chief Operations Officer of over 400 employees with offices located throughout the country.
He left Sonalyst in 1994 and continued his leadership in the business community through his commitment to the economic development of Southeastern Connecticut. He worked with Tech Conn and Sea Tech to stir business development throughout the region. In 1997, he joined Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region (seCTer) and tirelessly worked on sustaining the health of the local economy. In 2005, he spearheaded the coalition effort that successfully defended the Submarine Base and overturned the recommendation of Base Realignment and Closure Commission to close the facility. His community service included membership to the Waterford Nuclear Advisory Board, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital Corporators, and the St. Joseph Parish Council where he was a long time parishioner.