John R. Hebert, mechanical engineer

John R. Hebert, a retired mechanical engineer who was vice president of operations at AAI Corp. in Cockeysville, died April 17 of cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson.

The resident of Phoenix in Baltimore County was 83.

John Ray Hebert was born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas, where he graduated from St. Mary's High School.

Mr. Hebert earned a bachelor's degree in the early 1950s from Texas A&M University in College Station. He later served in the Army, where he attained the rank of lieutenant.

He began his career as an engineer at the Cockeysville defense contractor in 1956, and was promoted first to senior engineer and then to design engineer, chief estimating and proposal administrator, and principal development engineer.

Mr. Hebert later was director of the mechanical division and at his 1994 retirement was vice president of operations.

During his nearly 40-year career at AAI, Mr. Hebert received various patents that are on display at Aberdeen Proving Ground, family members said.

The longtime Cockeysville resident, who in recent years lived in Phoenix, Baltimore County, enjoyed working with computers. He was also a coin collector and world traveler.

"He also liked working on vintage Lincoln automobiles," said his daughter, Melinda Hebert Berger of Lutherville.

His first wife of 55 years, the former Joan Marie Markusic, died in 2005.

Mr. Hebert was a communicant of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 101 Church Lane, Cockeysville, where a memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Hebert is survived by his wife of five years, the former Carolyn Mayo; a son, James D. Hebert of Albuquerque, N.M.; two brothers, Joseph Hebert of San Diego and Ronald Hebert of Coco Beach, Fla.; and three grandchildren. Another son, John D. Hebert, died in 2006.

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