Obituary of Francis Stenger
Francis “Frank” James Stenger died in his home in Norton, Ohio on October 23rd a week shy of his 85th birthday.
He was born on October 31, 1934 in Sheffield, PA. His father died from polio when he was an infant, and he was raised by his mother and older sister, Sherry. They moved to Houston when he was a young boy to be near his mother’s family.
He attended the University of Houston where he received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1957. Upon graduation he worked for a year as a civil servant for the Army at the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico before being hired by the fledgling National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Lewis (now Glenn) Research Center in Cleveland, OH as part of the first wave of engineers tasked with developing America’s space program.
While at NASA he worked on Project Mercury and invented the first capillary pumped loop (used in spacecraft power devices). He met his beloved wife Fedora - a research chemist at NASA - in 1959, and they were married on September 16, 1961 in Cleveland, OH.
After 25 years of service at NASA, he retired in 1982 and spent the remainder of his life until recently on his 52-acre farm in Kingsville, OH where he raised his family. He enjoyed taking care of his land and its many creatures, and tinkering with various projects in his garage and around the property. Frank’s “tinkering” was legendary and involved multiple attempts to create a ball lightning machine and an electricity-generating windmill.
He is survived by his children, Michael Stenger of Papillion, NE, Anita Dacanay (Tomak Rybak) and Edward Stenger (Jean Simmons) of Shaker Heights, OH, and Matthew Stenger (Jennifer) of Norton, OH; and his grandchildren Tonya (Stenger) Wilson of Roaming Shores, OH, Joseph Stenger of Huntsburg, OH, and Gabriel Dacanay of University Heights, OH; and Zachary, Hannah, Sofia and Ava.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Olaf Cedric and Nita (Smith) Stenger; his son Eric Stenger; his sister Sherry Mehr; and his wife Fedora (Manfredi).
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at afsp.org or the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org.
Calling hours will be held Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 10 A.M. to 11 A.M. at the DUCRO FUNERAL HOME, 4524 Elm Avenue, Ashtabula. A memorial service will follow at 11 A.M. A continued time of food and fellowship will follow the service.
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