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Edward John UrbanikMay 11, 1924 ~ July 6, 2017 (age 93)
Edward John Urbanik of West Chester.
Edward John Urbanik of West Chester, an accomplished aerospace engineer, beloved patriarch and a decorated WWII veteran passed away Thursday, July 6, 2017 at the age of 93.
A true member of the Greatest Generation, Mr. Urbanik contributed to many of the technologies that powered U.S. advancements in the space race, particularly for the Apollo and Voyager missions. His success can be directly attributed to his legendary work ethic and his natural mechanical ability.
For nearly 40 years, he developed and perfected space and nuclear propulsion systems at General Electric benefiting a variety of federal clients including NASA and the Department of Defense. His work on long range engines for spacecraft and submarines was recognized by President Richard Nixon. Before retiring in 1994, he was also working on alternate sources of energy including wind, solar, nuclear and microwave. In January 1995, he received the Shreiber-Spence Award presented by the Institute for Space & Nuclear Power Studies at the University of New Mexico for his contributions to space nuclear power and propulsion and its utilization in exploration of the solar system.
He was born May 11, 1924, in the small town of Portage, Pa. to John Urbanik and Anna Trznadel Urbanik. He enrolled at the Akron University of Ohio before answering the call to serve his country in WWII and enlisting in the U.S. Army. As part of the 30th Regiment, 76th Infantry Division, 9th Army, Mr. Urbanik was deployed to central Germany as a heavy machine gunner. His unit landed at Le Harve in the Normandy region of France. Once in Europe, the 304th Regiment participated in the Battle of the Ardennes, the Battle of the Rhineland and the Battle of Central Germany. When hostilities ended on VE Day, the 304th Regiment was given the task of governing Altenburg and Rochlitz. Mr. Urbanik was wounded in the Rhineland during the conflict and received commendations for his dedication and bravery, including the Purple Heart, three Bronze Star medals and a Good Conduct Decoration Citation.
Returning home, Mr. Urbanik enrolled at The Ohio State University securing a degree in Electrical Engineering. At this time, he also met a beautiful young woman named Doris Hiher at a local dance. Within a year, she would be his wife. As Ed’s engineering career took off, the two moved first to Michigan where he worked for Chrysler. Then on to Southern California where Ed got his start in satellite technology and remote propulsion systems working for Hughes Aircraft in their new Aerospace Group. From there, the two settled in West Chester, Pa. where Ed began his work for General Electric.
His is survived by his daughter, Cheryl Hazard of Phoenixville, PA, son, Edward A. Urbanik of Dayton, OH, son, Michael Urbanik of Peach Bottom, PA, son, Stephen Urbanik of Trenton, NJ, and daughter, Barbara Huibregtse of Westborough, MA. He is also survived by eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by daughter, Carol Urbanik and his wife Doris Hiher Urbanik
Relatives and Friends are invited to his visitations on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm at the DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc. 410 North Church Street, West Chester, PA 19380, 610-696-1181, www.DellaFH.com; and on Thursday, July 13, 2017 from 10:00 am - 11:00 am at SS Simon & Jude Church; 8 Cavanaugh Court West Chester, PA 19382; followed by his Funeral Mass at 11:00 am.
Interment will be in St. Agnes Cemetery West Chester, PA.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Honor Flight Inc., Attn: Diane Gresse, 175 Titus Rd., Springfield, OH 45505.