John Needham

John Needham
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John E. “Skip” Needham, 63, of Swansea, IL, born August 15, 1951, in Upper Darby, PA, died Saturday, March 7, 2015, at Memorial Hospital, Belleville, IL.

Mr. Needham retired from the National Geospatial Agency in 2009.  During his 30 years of service, he held many positions culminating in the Office of the Inspector General.  John’s two passions were people and airplanes.  He never met a stranger on his many travels. The high points of his final year of life were the small plane rides arranged by his family and friends.

John was preceded in death by his parents, John J. and Helene D., nee Jerskie, Needham; and a dear uncle, Edward Jerskie.

Surviving are his wife of 40 years, Sharon, nee Koesterer, Needham, whom he married on June 14, 1974;
his daughter, Jennifer Needham;
his brother, Michael Needham;
his sister, Lorraine Denning;
his dear aunt, Helen Jerskie;
two sisters-in-law, Karen Vick and Pat (Dennis) Herzing;
his brother-in-law, Garry Koesterer;
and two nieces and two nephews, Teagan Ruane, Jessica (Michael) Meyers,
Laura Herzing, and John Herzing.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Sierra Club or to Hospice of Southern Illinois.  Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation:  Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, 2015, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, and from 12 noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Belleville, IL.

Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1p.m. Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. Jack McEvilly officiating.

Burial will follow at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, IL.

Condolences Left For John Needham

I am so sorry for your loss. It has been a long time since teaching at St. Henry’s but still think of you and your family.
In sympathy,

Nancy Dunn, O’Fallon, Illinois, 62269

Sorry For Your Loss. Please accept this electronic message in lieu of a Sympathy Card. Local National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) volunteers provide help in reporting the death of any federal civilian retiree or a retiree’s spouse to proper authorities. They will explain the process as needed and if requested, can report the death to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for you. The NARFE Service Center is located in building 50, Scott AFB. You may visit the Service Center on Tuesdays, 10AM to 2PM or call 618-256-9350. You may leave a voice mail message at other times and we will return your call the following Tuesday. You may also call either of our Service Officers, Gene Wiggins at 618 566-7980 or Dean Hemmer at 618 233-3819, for immediate assistance if required

Gene Wiggins NARFE Chap 1019, Mascoutah, Illinois, 62258

Sharon please accept my sincere sympathy in your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

Karen Stonewater, Belleville, Illinois, 62223

Sharon, I am honored and blessed to have known John. He was truly a blessing in my life and I will miss him. My condolences.

John Moss, Green Valley, Arizona, 85614


It was great meeting you. I am truly glad you came back to visit the OIG and go out to lunch with us. You are truly fun. You inspired my outlook on life. May you continue to be the angel in heaven as you were here on earth. If you see my mome and Dee Snyder up there, be sure to say hi! You will truly be missed. Good bless you. May your spirit continue to live on in your family’s life.

Precious Rutlin, St. Louis , MO, 63043

I travelled on some TDY Trips with John to Huntsville, Alabama. Many in our travelling group played his plane landing game on the computer. John was one of the sweetest persons to work with at NGA and will be missed. My name is also Sharon and my deepest sympathies to John’s wife. I have two grown children and my prayers go out to you. God bless and you and your family now have an angel looking out after your welfare.

Sharon Hawk , Edwardsville,, Illinois, 62025

I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing. I worked at NGA in the same office with John almost 30 years ago. I still remember the positive energy that he brought to our workspace everyday. Our prayers go out to his family.

Maryjane Kenyon, O’Fallon, IL, 62269

Sharon, please accept my sympathy on John’s passing. I worked with John for many years back in the 80’s before I transferred to Virginia. John was always a pleasure to be around and I know he will be missed by anyone who knew him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

David Holtzclaw, Sterling, Virginia, 20165

Jenny and Family,

We are so very sorry for your loss and send our sincere condolence.

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Bev and Mike Stolze, Smithton, IL, 62285

Sharon, I had the pleasure of working closely with John in different offices within NGA over the years. That smile, sharp wit and unique perspective that John brought will be greatly missed. He was one of the best.
Peace, Ron Dexter and family.

Ron Dexter, Columbia, Illinois, 62236

Sharon and Jennifer, Please accept my sympathy on the death of your husband and Jenny’s father. My prayers and thoughts are with you at this time. Cherish the good memories of him. May God comfort you at this time. Our

Janet Jacquot

Janet Jacquot, Belleville, Illinois, 62226

Sharon, We were sorry to learn of your husband’s death. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.

George and Linda Mehochko, New Baden, IL, 62265

Sharon and Jennifer,
So sorry to read about Skip’s passing.
My prayers are with you. Keep close the many happy memories.
Take care.

Jane Spreng, Belleville, Illinois, 62221

Sharon, I am sorry for your loss. I worked with John before we moved to Colorado in 1989. We carpooled together. I remember He always had a story. Whether it was hockey or Hecker ketchup, he kept the ride entertaining. Sad to hear he’s gone.

Jenine Ebersohl, Colorado Springs, CO, 80909

Like many others, I worked with John at NGA. John always had a smile on his face, had a great sense of humor, and was such a gentle spirit. When I retired over five years ago, what I said I would truly miss was the people — John was one of those people. May God keep you in His tender care and grant you strength and peace in the days ahead.

Rosanne Petru, Ferguson, MO, 63135

Sharon, I never had the pleasure of meeting John’s family, but I felt like I knew all of you anyway. John was extremely proud of his family and loved to talk about them. I, too, spent a lot of time in Huntsville, AL; a lot of that time with John. We were both aviation “nuts” and spent a good bit of time at Lake Guntersville Airport, near Huntsville, watching replica WWI planes flying about. John was a great and skilled worker, but one of his best skills was talking! I always tried to make sure I didn’t start a conversation with John within 20 minutes of quitting time! I didn’t see him much the last few years I worked at NGA, but I’ll always remember John; a genuine all around good guy. God bless you and your family as you provide loving support for each other in tough times like this.

Phil Butler, Washington, MO, 63090

What a bummer,we were childhood friends playing basketball up westview. Last Sunday we had our 50th above out of St Laurence,people asked me,I did not know. I am deeply saddened,really,another friend who also lived on Arlington passed “Joe Nally” #6104165172

Michael mc coach, Upper darby, Pa, 19082


1 Comment on John Needham

Sue L said : Guest Report May 28, 2022 at 11:16 PM

Please accept my condolences on the passing of a stunningly smart, kind, and genuine human being, John. We were co-workers for awhile at NGA, carpooled to work, and lived in the same neighborhood. John had a way of making people feel welcomed, and he could converse on a wide array of topics. One of John's gifts was his ability to listen to others and to take in different points of view. The ability to converse and listen define effective communication, and John was a master of the art. John was also a superb athlete, having played hockey at SLU for 4 years as an undergrad. I remember he would come to work and pull up his sleeze, revealing scratch and claw marks courtesy of the family cat — the result of rough play with kitty. And he showed his feline induced wounds with great smile and humor. I'll not forget what a superb person John was — toward everybody. He had a positive impact on my life, most certainly. Please accept my condolences.

  • Raleigh
  • NC

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