Dr. John Emil Halver, III

Dr. John Emil Halver, III

April 21, 1922 – October 24, 2012

World Renowned Scientist

Dr. John E Halver, III, passed away suddenly and peacefully at home at the age of 90 on October 24, 2012. He was in full possession of his mental abilities, and had finished editing a manuscript just the previous day.  A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, November 10th at 1:30 PM at Bothell United Methodist Church, 18515 – 92nd Ave NE, Bothell, Washington 98011.

Dr. Halver was born in Woodinville, WA on April 21, 1922 to John E Halver (from Finland) and Helen Hansen Halver (whose parents were from Norway and Denmark).  He grew up during the Great Depression, and learned to make good use of resources and to repair things himself.   In 1944 he married Jane Loren of Tacoma, his bride for over 68 years, and together they have five children, 12 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Throughout the years, John & Jane also opened their home to numerous international students.

Dr. Halver was an eminent nutritional biochemist who was honored as “One of the Leading Scientists of the World” in 2005, for a lifetime of Research in Nutritional Biochemistry, by the International Biographical Center in Cambridge, England. At the time of his death at age 90, he was still actively lecturing and consulting around the world. A devout, lifelong Christian, Dr. Halver spent his life confirming his belief that “There is no conflict between science and theology.   Science is pursuing truth, and God is the author of Truth”.

John Halver received a BS in Chemistry from Washington State College in 1944. He then was called to active duty in Europe with the US Army as an Infantry officer, returning from World War II as a Captain and a decorated soldier, having earned a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, American Theatre Service Medal, European African Middle Eastern Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation (Germany), Combat Infantry Badge, and the Croix d Honneur from France. Later he also received the Citoyen d’Honneur from France.

After WWII, Dr. Halver earned an MS in Organic Chemistry from Washington State College and a PhD in Medical Biochemistry from the University of Washington, after studies in Nutrition at Purdue University. Dr. Halver was the Director of Research for the National Fish and Wildlife Service, and as such, built and oversaw five laboratories throughout the northwest.

Using fish as his experimental animal, Dr. Halver developed the standard test diet H440 (which stood for “Halver, 440th try”) resulting in the nutritional standards used world-wide for salmonids and all fish. He also worked on nutritional studies for other animals, including humans.   He was promoted to Senior Scientist in Nutrition for the Fish & Wildlife service, and in 1976, Dr. Halver joined the faculty at the University of Washington as Professor of Nutrition.  He served as US Science Ambassador to the World under four US Presidents, as well as a private consultant to over 90 countries throughout the world.

Dr. Halver was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, the New York Academy of Sciences, the Washington State Academy of Science, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and received numerous accolades from around the world, including the Makila d’Honeur from Spain.  He published over 200 scientific articles, wrote several scientific books, and was inducted into the Fisheries Hall of Fame as “The Father of Fish Nutrition”.

He was an avid hunter, a member of Rotary, the United Methodist Church, and Reserve Officers Association.  In his spare time he loved producing and perfecting his hybrid Merlot wine.

Memorials may be sent to the charity of your choice, or to the John E. Halver Fellowship, School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences, 1120 Boat Street, University of Washington; Seattle, WA 98195.

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  1. Joe Montague
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Richmond, Va.

    On behalf of the 100th Infantry Division Progeny, may I express our deepest condolences on Dr. Halver’s passing. I knew him very briefly and am sad I will not the opportunities to meet with him again. He, and the many other Sons of Bitche will be commemorated this Nov. 11th in France with the dedication of a new stone monument. Rest in Peace.

    Joe Montague

  2. Dan Broadwater
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink


    On behalf of the members of IBEW Local 180, please accept our condolences on the loss of your father. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family.

    Dan Broadwater
    Business Manager IBEW Local 180

  3. David Smith
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Fremont Ca

    Pete sorry to hear of your loss, but from you dad’s bio above you can be proud of his life long service in the military, academia and his church. Our Prayers are with you at this time.

    David Smith

  4. DeAnna McDaid
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Livermore, CA

    Though I had not met Dr. J.E. Halver III, I do know his son Pete. We are so saddened by the news of the passing of your beloved Dad. Reading his “short version” life story Pete you could not be anything less than PROUD to have been his son. What an awesome person he surely must have been. Nick and I send our deepest condolences to you and your family.

    Nick and DeAnna McDaid, NECA Contractor

  5. David Brooks
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Stockton, CA

    Through the years I have listened to you talk of your father many times and it was easy to see how proud of him you were. Only after reading his bio could I really understand how influential he really was. Although I did not know him I do know you and now understand where you received so many of your good and rightious qualities. God Bless you and your family during this time of loss.
    David & Cynthia Brooks
    Stockton Training Director

  6. Janice Cecotti
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Bothell, WA

    I’m so glad I had the opportunity to get to know John in the last few months of his life. He came to church regularly when he wasn’t off lecturing around the world. What a man! What a life!

    My prayers are with the family but though we’ll all miss him his life was really something to celebrate.

  7. Brad & Nancy Gill
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Moraga, Ca.


    It’s a wonderful thing when a son can enjoy his Father for so many years the way you did. We know you got up to see him often. The experiences you shared together will always be with you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  8. J.F. KIMMEL
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Bitche, France

    By many French, in Lorraine he helped liberate during the Second World War, you family and friends, receive our sincere condolences.

    For my part I had the pleasure of meeting him during his visit in May 2010. And this is a big man I’ve ever met.

    Rest in peace. Your memory will remain in France.

  9. Elaine Boyden Maahs
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Hood River, OR

    Peter and family,

    So sorry to hear of your father’s passing. I am sure you are very proud of him and all that he did and was, and that you’ll miss him. I know because I also recently lost my dad. Prayers for you and your family at this time. Elaine

  10. Phil Ternahan
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Ventura, CA

    So sorry to learn of Dr. John’s passing. Johnny, I still remember hiking with you up to the end of Scoggins Road and making coffee can stew as part of our Boy Scout cooking merit badge under your dad’s tutelage.

    O GOD, whose mercies cannot be numbered; accept our prayers on behalf of the soul of they servant departed, and grant him an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


  11. Lucy DeYoung
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink


    Dear Jane, Debbie and family,
    I was so sad to hear that John passed. What a wonderful man he was, and what a great supporter of Woodinville he was. We have lost a true pioneer and he will be greatly missed.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time.

    Lucy DeYoung

  12. Peter Bassiri
    Posted November 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink


    Dear Janet & Family,

    True Honor to have met such great , generous man.

    So many touched by his existence and his departure!

    Our prayers are with you and your family.


  13. Robin Weigel
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Everett, WA

    I knew Dr. Halver from working at the University of Washington for the last 20 years. He was always friendly and upbeat. I met some of his children when they were removing items from his office and was impressed by their ability to work together during a tough time. That spoke volumes in itself about their Dad. Then to read the beautiful words above. What an inspiration you all are. May the Lord continue to bless and comfort you all!

  14. Peter Halver
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Livermore, CA

    It was a blessing to have such a wonderful father for so many years. I extend my thanks to all who attended the services and to all who were able to send prayers and remembrances.

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