John Fomusa was first hired at Fermilab in October 1973. He stayed for a brief while and then decided to go into business on his own. He came back to the lab in June 1993 and continued working here for the next 27 years, mostly with the Interlock Group.
We’re sad to report that he died on May 15 of lung cancer.
CJ, as we knew him at Fermilab, was an avid football and baseball fan. He also loved to play softball. He loved the Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis Cardinals — loved to see them lose, that is. He was a very proud Bear and Cubbie fan. The two happiest sporting events for him were 1985 Super Bowl (Bears victory) and the 2016 World Series (Cubs win). Those two games were so significant, he called them simply “The Super Bowl” and “The World Series.”
CJ was meticulous in everything he did — in his work at Fermilab, at home and in every other area of life.
Following are some of the things his fellow Fermilab workers had to say.
“CJ was one of the most special people I have met. Every day working with him made the day entertaining and a joy. His perfectionist personality was not only apparent while at work, but also on the softball field. Anything he worked on, whether professionally or in his personal life, he would make sure to spend the time and do it right, even if it took way longer than expected! He was a great friend, co-worker and teammate.”
“Ace mechanic, Cubs fanatic and tenacious at finding the best deal. An impassioned debater you could find yourself in a squabble with, regardless that you completely agree. He was always enthusiastic to apply his effort and experience toward any professional or personal challenges for himself or his fellow workers. He ensured they were driven to completion, no matter the duration. The culture of Fermilab will sorely miss the value of his wit and wisdom which can be best described as an anagram of his name ‘John Fomusa’ which is – ‘Has Fun Mojo.'”
“CJ always had something interesting on his mind to share. Whether it was about the fine points of mechanical switches or about his cars, he was a fun character who was dedicated to his work and doing things right.”
“It’s an understatement to say that John was one of the more memorable people you meet in life. Every person who knew John has their own great stories to tell about their experiences with him. I know we will be telling them for years with a smile on our faces. He was a good friend who always took the time to help the people around him, regardless of the situation. I feel fortunate for the time I was able to work with him and call him my friend. He will be missed.”
“John strived for perfection in all his work and the work of others he worked with. He was a team player, always volunteering to lend a hand when he could. He made a lot of friends at the lab due to his generous lending of time to help others. He provided the Interlock Group the mechanical support needed to lay out and fabricate the group’s chassis and and other electronic assembly packaging needs.”
“John was the mechanical designer for the ES&H Interlock Group and mentor for us all for anything mechanical at work or in our personal lives. John never gave up on any problem at work or in life. He will be missed immensely by all who knew him or worked with him and will never be forgotten. Oh, and CJ I will finish the motorcycle and hope to do you proud.”
So, as you can see, like a brother, he was always there for you. To bounce ideas off, show you a better way, to argue with you as to the correct way of doing something, or who had the better team.
John is survived by his wife Pat and two lovely daughters of whom he was very proud and spoke often, helping them in any manner he could and enjoying every minute of it.
John, CJ, or you son of a gun, you will be sorely missed. RIP.
Everyone who knew CJ has at least one story to tell — probably several. Please continue to share them fondly.
No memorial service is planned at this time. The family hopes to have a celebration of life at a later date.