Eugene P. Visco passed away April 15, 2019, at the age of 91. At the time of his death, he was an employee of Lockheed Martin Corporation, where he had worked for the last ten years. Gene was born on April 20, 1927 in Boston, Massachusetts, and was raised there by his mother, Eve Davidson and adoptive father, Frank J, Visco, to whom he was eternally grateful. He joined the Navy upon turning 17 and caught the tail end of World War II—he was a gunner and ordnanceman on Martin Mariner Patrol Bombers (PBM) in the South Pacific. He graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics in 1950 and, in 1951, joined the civil service at Dugway Proving Ground testing and analyzing the effects of chemical and biological weapons. In January, 1997, he retired from Government Service as a Supervisory Operations Analyst in the Office of the Undersecretary of the Army for Operations Research. Along the way, he held a number of positions both in and out of government, including at Johns Hopkins University’s Operations Research Group, the US Metric Board, the National Institute for Community Development, and a number of private companies, including his own: Visco Consulting. He held a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and was a graduate of the National War College. He came out of retirement to join Lockheed Martin as a Senior Operations Research Analyst, serving as both a researcher and mentor to junior analysts across the company.
Gene was a much revered and esteemed Fellow of the Military Operations Research Society (MORS), being its longest serving member at the time of his death. He remained active in the Society as recently as a meeting held in December, 2018, and was scheduled to participate in a leadership role at an April, 2019, meeting from which he reluctantly withdrew due to his failing health. He was an ever-present figure at the Society’s annual Symposia and Fellows Colloquia, established the Society’s Oral History Program, and was instrumental in the establishment of the International Symposium on Military Operations Research (ISMOR). On March 22, 2019, MORS established the Eugene P. Visco Prize of International Collaboration in Operations Research to both promote and recognize international projects in operations research. His contributions to the Society are monumental and so prolific as to defy enumeration. Indicative of the esteem in which his colleagues held him, many long time members of the Society expressed their sorrow and dismay at his passing and offered spontaneous tributes in his honor, some of which are included below.
Gene is survived by his wife Marianne, of Ft Myers, Florida, and son Harvey Greer Dickerson, III and his wife, Alice, and grandchildren, Kendall Dickerson and Spenser Dickerson of Olney, Maryland and several cousins. He is and will forever continue to be greatly missed by his family and colleagues alike. We will celebrate Gene’s life both in Fort Myers, FL and the Washington, DC area. Additional announcement details are forthcoming.
A sampling of tributes from Fellows of the Military Operations Research Society:
“His cheerful, can do, and friendly demeanor will be truly missed by everyone.”
“When I think of Gene, the first word that always comes to mind is “Tradition”. He not only ensured that we maintained and bequeathed our most important traditions but that we carried them out correctly and professionally.”
“We have been so blessed to have Gene as the moral compass and repository of memories for our whole history of MORS.”
“He was a true gentleman and a superb MORSian.”
”However, for me, what is even more astounding is his analytical career — it is mindboggling that he was actually around, and in the profession, near the birth of operations research. And despite how long ago that actually was, he always talked about the old days as if
they were just yesterday. I suspect he was the last of the truly old-timers
in our profession, and we have now lost that link to our past.”
And, a testimonial from a Lockheed Martin colleague:
“Gene was a walking encyclopedia with respect to what mattered most in operations research – the operations! He was the SME I always turned to for help to put an analysis into operational perspective. He had an uncanny insight into what mattered most to the warfighter.”