He supervised 3,600 military and civilian employees in the fields of meteorology, hydrography, astronomy, chronometry and oceanography.
In 1985, under Adm. Seesholtz’s command, a research submarine discovered a hot spring in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the northwestern United States. It measured 750 degrees Fahrenheit and is believed to be the hottest water recorded on Earth.
As oceanographer of the Navy, Adm. Seesholtz was also responsible for the operation of the master clock at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington.
John Richard Seesholtz was born in Ashland, Pa. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1956.
Early in his Navy career, he served in Antarctica, where he helped capture six pairs of penguins for the San Diego Zoo.
In 1968, he received a doctorate in oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He served aboard submarines, including command of the Dolphin, a deep-diving submarine, which undertook deep sonar operations.
Adm. Seesholtz’s decorations included two awards of the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal.
In retirement, he was a consultant for the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, among other organizations.
He had lived in the Washington area since 1972. He was a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Fairfax, where he sang in a choir called the Men of Note. He was also a member of the Mount Vernon Civic Association.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Marylee Gehris Seesholtz of Fairfax; twin children, Amy Seesholtz of Alexandria and retired Navy Capt. Dan Seesholtz of Edmond, Okla.; and three grandchildren.
— Bart Barnes