John J. Moskwa

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 4:02 pm

John J. Moskwa, 67, of Madison, Wis. died Saturday, June 3, 2017, at his home in Madison from pancreatic cancer. Friends and colleagues are invited to a memorial service at Cress Funeral Home, 6021 University Ave, Madison, Saturday, June 10 – with visitation at 11 a.m., a celebration of life at noon, followed by a meal. John will be buried in Harrisville, Mich. If you wish to make a gift, please do so in memoriam to the UW Arboretum.

He was born Jan. 20, 1950, on a farm in Harrisville, Mich. to Joseph and Mary Moskwa.

John often said he had three careers—musician, mechanic and engineer. He attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Mich., where teachers fostered his love of music and he started performing the trumpet throughout the US and Europe. He later attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, playing principal trumpet under conductor James Levine, and played in symphony orchestras in the US and Mexico. In his mid -20s he began working as a diesel mechanic with the City of Detroit, which piqued his interest in engineering, and he later earned a master’s degree (University of Michigan) and a Ph.D. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in mechanical engineering and took a professorship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he worked until his retirement in 2016. He founded the Powertrain Control Research Laboratory, the UW College of Engineering’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) program, and received five US patents and numerous industry and teaching awards, including being the only university professor ever to receive SAE International’s most prestigious award for automotive engineering innovation, the Edward N. Cole Award.

John loved road trips, camping around the Great Lakes, and taking long walks in his neighborhood and the UW Arboretum. He loved listening to music, held season tickets to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and continued playing trumpet and piano throughout his life. He believed in truth, logic and science, and held high standards for himself and those around him. He was a loving father and husband who lived well and died peacefully surrounded by his family and many friends.

John is survived by his children, Joe Moskwa (Madison, Wis.) and Susan Moskwa (Seattle, Wash.); wife Arlinda Michael (Madison); ex-wife Kathlyn Maldegen (Madison); and sisters Aggie Dorchy (Novi, Mich.) and Stephanie Richards (Lubbock, Texas).

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