Everyone should know assembler language.
  • 82 years old
  • Born on July 5, 1935 in Richmond, Virginia, United States.
  • Passed away on February 20, 2018 in Sunnyvale, California, United States.

This memorial website was created in memory of John Ehrman, 82, who was born on July 5, 1935 and passed away on February 20, 2018. He will be remembered fondly by many.

Posted by Tineke Graafland on 9th June 2018
Dearest John, It has been nearly four months since your passing, yet it still feels as if you are "just on a one week SHARE trip". On May 5 we had the most beautiful memorial service, complete with all the J.S. Bach music you had chosen. Rest in Peace most wonderful person, and sing with angels. They can always use a good DEEP bass voice :-). All my love, Tineke In his prayer Pastor Dan Hutt said "May we have the courage, as John liked to quote, 'to comfort the afflicted, and to afflict the comfortable' "
Posted by Tony Piner on 11th April 2018
I knew John at the IBM Santa Teresa Lab from at least the 90's. He had a calm, quiet, confident - and above all - correct authority which surpassed the noisy climbers in every way. He is among the most respected people that I have known, and I am better for knowing him. John - from now on, may all your return codes be zero.
Posted by Dick Johnson on 7th April 2018
My wife Anna and I ran into John and Tineke in Carmel last July while they were attending the Bach Festival. I worked with John at SLAC for many years before he moved to IBM. Those were fun times. I also ran into him frequently when I moved to IBM myself and at countless SHARE meetings. Anna and I even cataloged his contribution of Assembler language memorabilia to the Computer History Museum! Good bye John, it was good knowing you!
Posted by Tineke Graafland on 6th April 2018
Memorial/Celebration of Life: When: Saturday, May 5, at 10:00am Where: Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church, Fremont Avenue, Sunnyvale. Music: Mostly J.S. Bach, as chosen by John. All are welcome!
Posted by Tineke Graafland on 6th April 2018
John has been gone about six weeks. Exactly one month from today, April 5, will be John's Memorial/Celebration of Life. I so look forward to the J.S. Bach music which John selected; the words spoken by his nephew and friends John selected. John deserves nothing but the best, knowing how humble he was and hated it when folks placed him on a pedestal...I so miss his quiet demeanor, his loving kindness, and patience. May he rest in peace. As it states in one or our church hymns "EARTH HAS NO SORROW THAT HEAVEN CANNOT HEAL". Rest in peace dearest John. Your loving wife, Tineke
Posted by Ira Sheftman on 5th April 2018
I met John somewhere back in the late 80s when I was working in Fortran at what was then the IBM Santa Teresa Lab (now Silicon Valley Lab). I could see right off how sharp John was technically but what struck me was how approachable and personable he was. Very easy to talk to and always willing to share his knowledge. I think my fondest memory of John happened in a large meeting with many managers and technical folks. The topic was how we approached customers. John got up, put his hands over his eyes and rolled his head around, saying that all too often IBMers would go to customers and act like they had blinders on. I nearly fell out of my chair. A lively discussion followed. All initiated by John's wonderful wit and humor. He will be greatly missed.
Posted by Andi Jackson on 28th March 2018
During my considerable years at STL working on various compilers, John always seemed to have an office nearby. He was always available to answer a question, offer an explaination (he just loved slipping into “teacher mode”) or help solve a problem. Many a project were completed because of his willingness to put his own work aside so that we could take advantage of his HLASM expertise. John was the perfect teacher, mentor, leader.....calm, knowledgeable, easy going and could explain the most complex idea in terms that the rest of us could understand. He had a wonderful career at IBM and I am thankful that I had an opportunity to work with him.
Posted by John Melcher, Jr. on 28th March 2018
John and I put together the "Assembler Indignaiton" project at GUIDE user group. The GUIDE management thought there was no interest. John and I proved otherwise. If I suggested a topic for "next meeting" John could always come through. I enjoyed working with him at GUIDE and SHARE. John's good humor and skilled teaching will be missed.
Posted by Nancy Wheeler on 21st March 2018
I came to know John at SHARE when I was assigned to be the IBM representative for the APL project in the late 1980's. He was a mentor to me there, and through the years was always available to help with the tricky stuff like machine architecture and most recently, helping me understand complex numbers. About a year ago he took a group of us on a tour of the Computer History Museum which was completely fascinating. I will miss his kindness, keen intelligence and dry sense of humor.
Posted by James Dargin on 20th March 2018
RIP John. I met John when he was assigned to the IBM repository project as the Languages/Assembler representative. He was always so positive even though skeptical -- fun to be around. In later years he was a regular at the SVL cafe at a table where deep conversations could be joined. He will be missed.
Posted by Joan Alter on 20th March 2018
I have fond memories of John from SLAC in the late 60s. I learned assembler from an early draft of his textbook, printed on computer paper. He was a wonderful mentor and extremely witty.
Posted by Ted Syrett on 19th March 2018
I was a colleague of John's at SLAC in the early 1970s. We shared a fondness for IBM 360/370 assembly-language programming and a love/hate relationship with IBM. I lost touch with John when i moved to a small start-up company in San Francisco, but found him again when, back in Silicon Valley, I began participating in Schola Cantorum's Messiah Sings. Lo and behold, there was John, helping me track Handel's bass parts! Thanks for showing me the way, John. Like you, I'll go on singing as long as I am able.
Posted by Susan Enger on 5th March 2018
I suspect I first met John in 1990 which was my first year doing the Carmel Bach Festival. Being new and not knowing anyone, I remember feeling rather lonely. After a tower music program, John singled me out and started a conversation including questions about instruments and music. He was also very complimentary of my playing which of course I appreciated. One year John and Tineke invited me to lunch with them at the Little Swiss Cafe, which became an annual ritual. We’d have a lively conversation, including festival gossip, and examine the ever changing artwork in the cafe. John and I corresponded once or twice a year. Even after I left the festival after 20 years, he didn’t forget me and continued to write, never mentioning his illness. He was a kind man, thoughtful and ever curious. I will always remember him with love.
Posted by Colette, Michael, And Chl... on 3rd March 2018
We will always remember John for his kindness, his passion for life, and his eternally boyish smile. He enriched our lives with his deep knowledge on a wide variety of topics and his desire to share the activities he loved. He shared that knowledge and those activities freely with enthusiasm. His passion was infectious and it added to the enjoyment of spending time with him at meals or concerts or lectures. John always had some little known fact to add that made you feel like were in on a secret. He approached life with such joy; he knew what he wanted to do and nothing would stop him. He relished bringing people together and everyone was treated like family. John added to the texture of our lives and will long be remembered with love and respect.
Posted by Dee Hartzog on 3rd March 2018
John, my brother, was 2 years older but many years smarter and always tolerant and helpful. He helped me struggle through understanding physics in high school and introduced me to the Bach Festival in Carmel and the Messiah Sing Along, as well as the Schola Cantorum. He was so special and will be missed forever.
Posted by Larry England on 2nd March 2018
I worked with "Dr John" at IBM at the STL facility for many years. I watched John and viewed him as my role model - extremely smart, innovative (before the term was in vogue), always calm and well-mannered in all situations, and above all willing to help. He had the 'professor' in him that made him a natural teacher and took the time to explain things. He loved talking about technical things (assembler!), but he also took the time to explain things to me about the business side of IBM. I learned so much from John that it is truly hard to quantify. I will always remember him and speak of him fondly.
Posted by Arla LeCount on 2nd March 2018
I worked with John in the 1980’s at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. John was always such a calm, solid presence. In addition to knowing his stuff technically, he just knew what he was about. Layered on top of this competent, confident man was the most delicious wry sense of humor. He was always good for a lively conversation and a good laugh. He made the world a better place and will be sorely missed.
Posted by Cassie Hartzog on 2nd March 2018
I credit my Uncle John with getting me interested in computers, from the tours at SLAC and the ascii art he printed for me there, to the computer games he let me play on his home terminal, to helping him assemble a computer terminal from a Radio Shack kit, and teaching me the basics of programming. Later, he arranged an internship for me at IBM. I enjoyed sharing his delight in computers at the Computer History Museum. I am proud that some of the handheld devices I worked on are in the museum, alongside the mainframes he cut his teeth on. In this, and in many other ways, he enriched my life, which is the poorer for his passing.
Posted by Susan Rosen on 2nd March 2018
We met our dear friend, Tineke, in 1969. It was much later when we met John on several trips to California. Living in Western NY, we didn't get to that part of the country often, but it was a delight to spend time with the two of them when we had the chance. It was easy to feel the love they shared for each other and complemented each other. As Tineke would update us on John's medical issues, we can agree with the friend, Ed, who labeled him the "energizer bunny." Now he is resting in peace. It's sad to know we won't get a chance to see him again but blessed to have crossed his path.
Posted by Ed Oddo on 28th February 2018
I worked with John for many, many years at IBM. I remember the "Dr. John" posters scattered around the SVL (aka STL) lab years ago. The expression on John's face in the picture on this site captures his essence. I never knew him to complain and his demeaoner was always the same, calm, cool and collected and his wry sense of humor ever present. He seemed to have more than his share of physical challenges over the past decade or so and I came to liken him to the energizer bunny --- takes a licking but keeps on ticking. He will be missed and remembered for sure.
Posted by James Francis Cray on 27th February 2018
I could always ask john a question about HLASM via e-mail and his first response was,,, Read the Documentation and reread it again,,, then he would always include the solution i was seeking... It always seemed that he knew that I was using it for z390.org
Posted by Don Higgins on 27th February 2018
I will always remember John Ehrman as the father of IBM High Level Assembler. We met many times at SHARE where he managed the Assembler Project. He was passionate about everyone learning assembler and enjoyed teaching classes.
Posted by Tineke Graafland on 27th February 2018
It is with great sadness that my husband John Robert Ehrman passed away just two weeks after having been told that the bladder/prostate cancer had practically exploded to liver and kidneys. Three months was the word, however, John was relieved of his shut down body just two weeks later. His mind, however, was just as sharp as ever. I shall forever love and miss him.

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