Eric Lee Washam – Captain, United States Navy

From a contemporary press report:

Eric Lee Washam, 52, a retired Navy Captain who had done government work as an official of Techmatics Inc. in Fairfax since 1990, died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma July 30, 1998 at his home in Falls Church, Virginia.

Captain Washam, a native of Hickory, North Carolina, was a 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and received a master's degree in electrical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, in 1969.

He served in Vietnamese waters during the war in Vietnam and spent two years with Britain's Royal Navy as an exchange officer before joining the team that developed, built and deployed the revolutionary Aegis shipboard missile defense system.

Captain Washam spent the last 15 years of his Navy career, before retiring from active duty in 1990, with the Aegis program. In the mid-1980s, he commanded the Norton Sound, the ship in the Pacific fleet that tested Aegis. His last assignment was as commanding officer of the Aegis Combat Systems Center at Wallops Island, Virginia.

At Techmatics, he was involved in ballistic missile defense systems and strategic planning projects. The company's 1997 employee of the year, he was strategic planning director of its defense section at the time of his death.

Captain Washam's Navy decorations included three Meritorious Service medals.

Survivors include his wife of 24 years, Heather, and a daughter, Megan Lee Washam, both of Falls Church; his parents, Troy Lee and Martha Washam of Hickory, North Carolina; a brother, Gary, of Orlando; and two sisters, Deborah Fullbright of Charlotte and Sue Graves of Danville, Virginia.


On Thursday, July 30, 1998, at his home, beloved and adored husband of Heather Washam; and infinitely wise and loving father of Megan Lee Washam; son of Troy Lee and Martha Washam of Hickory, North Carolina. A service to celebrate and honor his life will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, August 7, at Fort Myer Post Chapel, Fort Myer, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society.

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