John W. Duchesne

Postmaster

John W. Duchesne, 73, a retired postmaster and postal manager, died of cancer Oct. 13 at St. Mary's Nursing Center in Leonardtown.

Mr. Duchesne spent three decades with what became the U.S. Postal Service, mostly at the Washington headquarters, but also in Lancaster, Pa., Syracuse, N.Y., and Oyster Bay, N.Y., where he was general manager and postmaster of the Brooklyn-Queens Division. He retired to Leonardtown in 1996.

He was a native Washingtonian and a graduate of St. Anselm's Abbey School and Catholic University. He received a master of business administration degree in 1961 from American University, and he taught business management courses at University of Maryland University College.

He served in the Marine Corps on active duty from 1949 to 1955 and then entered the reserves, retiring as a colonel in 1984.

After Mr. Duchesne's retirement from the Postal Service, he became director of the St. Mary's County Chapter of the American Red Cross, a senior housing specialist at the St. Mary's County Housing Authority and a substitute teacher for St. Mary's County public schools.

He was a member of the Lions Club and Our Lady's Catholic Church at Medley's Neck and served on the board of directors of St. Mary's Nursing Center and Marcy House.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Ann Dunbar Duchesne of Leonardtown; eight children, Peg Duchesne of Laurel, Jack Duchesne Jr. of Vienna, Jeannie Dettorre of Hummelstown, Pa., Ann Beacham of Westminster, Md., Maureen Duchesne of Orlando, Fla., Tom Duchesne of Cranberry Township, Pa., Ellen Jones of Fredericksburg and Martha Christiansen of Baldwinsville, N.Y.; a sister, Emily McGrail of Lake Ridge; a brother, Frank Duchesne Jr. of South Bethany, Del.; and 18 grandchildren.