John J. Yostpille of Shrewsbury, NJ passed away peacefully on April 11, 2021 at Brandywine Senior Living in Shrewsbury. He was 96 and had been in declining health.
John was born into a working-class family in Astoria, Queens. He was an excellent student and excelled in math and science. When he turned 18, he joined the Naval Air Corps, the same branch of the service that George H.W. Bush joined. Interestingly, John and President Bush shared the same iconic birthday: 6/12/24.
But rather than deploy John to the Pacific theater, the Navy sent him to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After being honorably discharged in 1946, John completed his degree in Electrical Engineering at MIT on the GI Bill. He later received his M.E.E. degree from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute.
John joined Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1948. He was chosen to be in the initial class of the prestigious Communications Development Training Program established by Mervin Kelly. This program trained promising engineers beyond the levels available at graduate schools at the time.
As a young engineer, John designed a portable transistor multi-frequency tone key pad for telephone operator switchboards, which was used in a TV demonstration. It was the first commercial application of the transistor. Among other early achievements in Bell Labs, John supervised the design the first stored program electronic switching system and the specifications for the Bell Systems No. 1 Electronic Switching System put into commercial service in 1965. He authored numerous published technical papers and was granted four patents for electronic switching.
Later, John held several executive positions at Bell companies, including the Director of the Electronic Data Processing Systems Center, Director of the Facilities Systems Center, and Director of the Computing Technology Center, retiring in 1986. He was a long-time member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers association, Sigma Xi and the Telephone Pioneers Club.
John was a resident of Shrewsbury for almost 60 years, serving as a volunteer fireman at Shrewsbury Hose Company and a member of the Shrewsbury Board of Health. He was also a Eucharistic Minister.
John embodied the traits of America's Greatest Generation. John worked at an early age and instilled a strong work ethic in his two children. He was devoted to his wife of 55 years, Florence, who passed away in 2004. As busy as he was throughout his career, John always had time for his family. He loved to travel and made many memorable trips to Ireland with his wife. John was also an avid sports fan. He coached his sons’ baseball teams and enjoyed watching any type of sports on television, especially his beloved Yankees and Giants.
John is survived by two sons, with whom he treasured spending time, John of Sarasota, FL (and his wife Judith) and Bernard of Rumson, NJ (and his wife Kathleen). A private burial was held this week and a Celebration of Life will take place in the coming months.