John P. Laird, 89, of Pocasset died at home on July 14.
He was the husband of Catherine (Hennessey) Laird, to whom he was married for 62 years.
He was raised in Butte, Montana, and was educated at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, earning a degree in chemical engineering and mathematics.
He served in the United States Air Force as a second lieutenant following Officer Training School and received an honorable discharge in 1962.
In the early 1970s, Mr. Laird moved to the Cape and became one of the first mainframe computer programmers at the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, in Woods Hole. He held that position for 20 years, retiring in 1993.
A master chess player, Mr. Laird competed in tournaments and used the postal service as a way to play the game with international opponents. The Enterprise newspaper clipping archives held a 1975 photograph of him at a chess tournament in Boston. The caption reported that he did not win any prize money but was third in his section, winning three and losing one.
While he and his wife were raising their four children, he taught them an appreciation for nature by taking them on extended camping trips to destinations such as Yellowstone National Park and places of interest to explore in Canada.
In addition to his wife, he leaves their children, Joanne Reilly of Bourne, Eileen Laird of Boone, North Carolina, Joseph Laird of Orange, Connecticut, and Thomas Laird of Pocasset; and a sister, Sr. Eileen Marie Laird of Monroe, New York.
He was preceded in death by three siblings.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, July 23, at 11 AM at St. John the Evangelist Church, 841 Shore Road in Pocasset.
Burial will be private at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.