John Gary Mulvihill

john mulvihill

March 3, 1933 ~ November 13, 2023

Born in: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Resided in: Vienna, Virginia

John Gary Mulvihill of Vienna passed away on Monday, November 13, at Arlington Hospital Center after a short illness. John was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Jack Albert and Aurelia (Nell) Voelker on the magical day of March 3, 1933 (3/3/33). Family lore includes the story of the federal Emergency Banking Act effected during this fateful week which ordered bank closings nationwide. It left his father, the new family man, in the predicament of being short of cash.

Because his father was a sales representative for many companies over the years, John lived in many places and attended numerous schools. His touchstone cities were the Corpus Christi of a considerable portion of his childhood and St. Louis where he spent summers with his paternal grandparents. He fondly recalled ice cream evenings, Sunday drives, and Boy Scout hikes.

John is survived by his wife of 64 years Anna Marie Stubenrauch of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, whom he married on August 24, 1959. He is also survived by his two sons Lawrence Peter and Daniel Jude; by his brother, Michael L., of Terrell, Texas; and by his niece, Michelle O’Connell; and nephew, Patrick.

John graduated the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, and held advanced degrees from Rice University and the University of Texas, Austin.

With a degree in library science, John was first employed in the library of the Benedictine Colleges (then St. Benedict’s College) Atchison, Kansas, before moving into the commercial world at Astra Pharmaceutical Products Company in Worcester, Massachusetts. When changes in Research expanded employment choices, John began working as an Indexer at the American Petroleum Institute in New York City. After some years there, he found his permanent work home at the American Geological Institute (now American Geosciences Institute) where he edited GeoRef and ultimately served as Director of GeoRef Information Systems. GeoRef is the most comprehensive bibliographical database in the geosciences indexing scientific literature. It contains 4.4 million references from journals, books, maps, conference papers, reports, and theses in the field of geosciences in more than 40 languages. He was pleased and proud to have been a part of this significant endeavor.

John was active professionally in the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS) and became president in 1978. He was awarded the group’s Mary B. Ansari Distinguish Service Award in 2007. Upon retirement in 1998 the American Geological Institute broke precedent and presented him its William B. Heroy Award which was usually reserved for geoscientists alone in recognition of his distinguished service to the geoscience profession.

As a retiree John served as an election official during several elections seeing it as a civic duty. He also volunteered at the Fairfax County Patrick Henry Library, and after a time was hired as a part-time reference librarian. His free time was frequently spent out of doors. He enjoyed feeding backyard birds, traveling to the national parks and New Mexico where hiking trails beckoned and to Europe, most especially to visit his wife’s German relatives, and to roam art museums and churches which including a trip he carefully planned and researched to Florence, Italy, to bask in the afterglow of the Renaissance.

John was an amiable, soft-spoken individual with an iron will and determination. He was once described as “Still waters run deep.” He will be remembered and missed.

Services will be held on Wednesday, November 22nd at 1:30 p.m. in the chapel of Holy Comforter Church, 543 Beulah Road, Vienna, Virginia with interment to follow in the columbarium.

Tanzania Education Fund, Inc.
223 Walnut Lane, NW
Vienna, Virginia 22180

American Indian College Fund
8333 Greenwood Blvd.
Denver, Colorado 80221

FINCA International
P. O. Box 98048
Washington, DC 20090


Service: November 22, 2023 1:30 pm

Church of the Holy Comforter
543 Beulah Road, NE
Vienna, VA 22181


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  1. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of loss. John’s life appears well lived and well loved. Please accept my sincere condolences.

  2. Dan – on behalf of the SAIC work family, may you look back on the precious memories shared with your dad and find peace in knowing that your father raised an amazing person. It is my belief that when we lose someone close to us, they continue to live on through us and provide us with unbelievable strength. Hold on to that infinite & eternal love and let it be your guiding light.

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