George Vasu

OBITUARY from the Morning Journal, 6-12-09

George Vasu

AVON -- George Vasu, 90, of Avon, died Wednesday June 10, 2009, at Fairview Hospital, Cleveland.

He was born and raised in Brownhelm, OH. He first attended college at Bowling Green University. When WWII broke out, he enlisted in the Army. He was a Master Sargeant and Master Mechanic and served in India and Burma during WWII. For his service to his country, he received the American Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Ribbon, and the Asiatic Pacific Theatre Ribbon with Bronze Star. He was honorably discharged June 1, 1945.

George received his B.S. Degree from Case Tech in 1948. The week after graduation, he joined the staff at Lewis where he worked in the controls branch of Engine Research Division. During 1956-57 in addition to his other duties, he taught Fundamental Principles of Controls with John Sanders for the lab's non-credit graduate courses. In 1964 as a member of the Advanced Development and Evaluation Division, he received an award for inventing a normal shock positioning apparatus. He received a patent for this device in 1965.

He went on to become an aeronautical research scientist at NACA, which became NASA. He worked 27 plus years at NASA where he did research on engine design for turbo jets, ramjets, and several rocket systems that later were used on manned space flight.

He wrote numerous scientific papers, nine of which are currently online. Mr. Vasu also held several patents on his aeronautical research. His patents were used on the design for the F111 fighter plane. The F111 was a multipurpose tactical fighter bomber capable of supersonic speeds. The aircraft achieved one of the safest operational records of any aircraft in USAF history.

While at NASA, Mr. Vasu additionally led a group of engineers who provided significant research for Ramjet Engine technology. George Vasu also served on the Supersonic Transportation Panel for the United States.

After leaving NASA, Mr. Vasu worked as an engineer for Lorain Products for 9 years. He was a founding partner in Vasu Communications and a partner in ADG Partnership of Avon.

Mr. Vasu served as Safety Director in Avon in the 1970's. For years he was a member of the Knights of Columbus and longtime member of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Avon.

He is survived by his wife: Eileen (nee Linden) Vasu; 6 children: Alan Lee (Donna) Vasu of Avon, Donna Marie (Jim) Krall of Naples, Florida, Teresa Mary DeChant of Bratenahl, David Joseph Vasu of Avon, Mary Monica (Anthony) Hoholski of Vermilion, and John Vincent (Peggy) Vasu of Avon; 11 Grandchildren: Catherine, Michael, Michele, Daniel, Jennifer Lee (deceased), Nichole, Sandra, Jennifer, Christine, Timothy, and Jacob; 4 Great-Grandchildren; Brother: Roy Vasu of Hudson; Sister: Violet Vincent of California; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by 3 brothers: John, Ellis, and Victor; and 2 sisters: Eleanor and Olivia.

Friends will be received Friday 2-4 & 6-9 p.m. at the Misencik Funeral Home, 36363 Detroit Rd., Avon, where closing prayers will be Sat. 9:15 a.m., followed by a 10 a.m. mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Avon. Interment will be in St. Mary Cemetery, Avon, where full military honors will be conducted.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the George Vasu Memorial Educational Fund at any First Merit Bank.''


OBITUARY from The Plain Dealer, 6-16-09, by Grant Segall, Plain Dealer Reporter

``AVON -- George Vasu liked to talk about the early years at Lewis Field, with fires in the wind tunnel and a jet engine that broke loose, punching a hole in a wall.

Vasu was a widely patented and published engineer at Lewis, now NASA Glenn Research Center. He also moonlighted as safety director in the 1970s for Avon ...

Vasu died June 10 at Fairview Hospital at age 90.

He was born on a farm in Brownhelm Township and glad of it, he would later say. When the Depression struck, at least he had plenty to eat.

He left Bowling Green State University to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1940. He served as a master sergeant and mechanic in India and Burma, winning a Bronze star and other medals.

Vasu got a bachelor's degree from Case Institute of Technology in 1948 and joined Lewis Field a week later. He stayed more than 27 years, working on everything from the first turboprop engine to manned spaceships.

His many patents included one for the F-111 fighter engine. He served on a federal panel for supersonic transportation. He published many papers, several of them online. He gave many talks around the country.

On the side, Vasu got a master's degree. He also continued to help at the family farm, with his own family at his side. He taught the young ones never to rip out a grape stalk. "It takes five years to grow one," he would say.

He gave them model airplanes and model rockets. He showed them math shortcuts, to their teachers' disapproval. And he took them to launches at the Kennedy Space Center.

After NASA, he spent nine years engineering for Lorain Products, which built power systems for telephone companies. He co-founded ADG Partnership of Avon, a development business, and Vasu Communications, which helps equip and serve safety dispatch centers ...''

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