(July 1, 2009) The faculty, staff, and students of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science were saddened by the June 28th death of Dr. Joe Loesch, Emeritus Professor of Marine Science.
Dr. Loesch, who retired from VIMS in 1997, enjoyed a 28-year career at the Institute, contributing greatly to the understanding and management of Virginia's fisheries resources, particularly the anadromous fishes that migrate from the sea to fresh water to spawn.
As head of the Anadromous Fish Program at VIMS, Dr. Loesch developed and initiated the annual monitoring of Virginia's shad, river herring, and striped bass populations, assembled valuable historical data on fishing effort and catch, developed long-term sampling programs to track variability in abundances of juvenile anadromous fishes, and provided critical advice to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and various federal fisheries management agencies.
Kevin Kiley, a long-time VIMS employee and friend of Dr. Loesch, says “Joe was a wonderful professor, husband, and father, and will be missed and remembered fondly.” Kiley notes that Loesch was an accomplished photographer who often visited VIMS following his retirement with questions on digital photography and computers. “We enjoyed hearing that gravely voice with the thick Brooklyn accent, announcing that Joe was here seeking advice and passing on bits of wisdom in return,” says Kiley.
Dr. Loesch instructed graduate students in the proper application of quantitative analysis and population dynamics through his annual offering of courses in biostatistics, experimental design, and population dynamics. He was the major advisor and served on the advisory committees for 27 graduate students in the School of Marine Science.
Dr. Loesch is survived by his wife of 56 years, Marilyn Neff Loesch; two sons, Zachary and Matthew; one daughter, Jessica Scotten; and one granddaughter, Victoria Ledbetter.
In lieu of a funeral service, family and friends will gather at Hogg Funeral Home in Gloucester on Thursday, July 2, from 7 to 8 p.m. Donations may be made to Riverside-Walter Reed Hospice; or to the student scholarship fund for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.