Eugene (Gene) Ganssle, 95 of Frederick, MD, passed away on April 1, 2023 with family present.
Born on December 29, 1927 in New Jersey, as the first child of John and Catherine (Meyer) Ganssle. Gene graduated from MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering. He enjoyed a long career in the aerospace industry and was a pioneer in designing early Apollo spacecraft and many subsequent satellites. A brilliant engineer, he was colleagues with many luminaries, like Werner von Braun.
Gene and his wife, Claireanne lived in New York before moving to Maryland with their five children. In 1972 the family moved to New Jersey where Gene worked at RCA/GE. Before retiring they returned to Maryland, settling in Mount Airy and Frederick.
Prior to entering MIT, in 1945 Gene enlisted in the Navy and served aboard the USS Lindsey in the last months of World War II. Gene and Claireanne in later years attended and hosted reunions with many of his shipmates in gatherings around the USA.
Later in life Gene learned to fly gliders and was an enthusiastic pilot. Skiing was a passion he shared with his friends and family. Painting filled his hours and he sold numerous works, while also gifting many to his children and grandchildren.
He spent many hours with his children and grandchildren, and any baby, of which there were many, always brought a smile to his face.
Gene and Claireanne enjoyed travel and visited many corners of the world, both for work and in their retirement.
The Catholic Church was a center to his life and he was active in his parishes in New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. When his children's elementary school burned he and other parish men built "the little red schoolhouse" in record time.
Retirement years were filled with volunteer work, including teaching at Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, and reading for the blind. He volunteered tirelessly at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC and Virginia, rising the to role of chief docent.
Gene and his beloved wife Claireanne enjoyed 70 years of marriage. He is survived by Claireanne and their much-loved children: Jack and his wife Marybeth, Chris and his wife Mary Lou, Greg and his wife Jeanie, Joan and her husband Frank, and Doug and his wife Ellen. Thirteen grandchildren and give great-grandchildren will also miss him. His sister Grace Black lives in Vero Beach, FL. He was predeceased by his sister Doris Dwyer.
A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church, 8428 Opossumtown Pike Frederick, MD 21702 on Monday, April 17, 2023 at 12:00pm.
Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in his name to So Others May Eat (https://some.org/).
Expressions of sympathy may be offered to the family at StaufferFuneralHome.com.