Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dr. Grandpa Fricke's Obituary

Dr. Edwin F. Fricke, Merrimack

FRICKE – Died September 7, in Nashua. Dr. Edwin F. Fricke, 96, formerly of Merrimack, NH. There are no calling hours. The family will hold a private memorial service at a later date. The family requests that donations in memory of Dr. Fricke be sent to Kitty Angels, P.O. Box 638, Tyngsboro, MA 01879. The CREMATION SOCIETY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, in Manchester, assisted the family with arrangements.

Dr. Edwin F. Fricke, Merrimack
Worked as engineer on Manhattan Project

Published: Sunday, Sep. 10, 2006

Dr. Edwin F. Fricke, 96, of Merrimack, died Sept. 7, 2006, at Greenbrier Terrace Healthcare Center in Nashua.

Dr. Fricke was born in 1910 in Mackay, Idaho, son of late William H. Fricke and Maude Ewing Fricke.

He was the widower of Harriet Gronbeck Fricke, who died in 1993.

Dr. Fricke was a mechanical engineer during World War II and worked on the development of synthetic plants and as an engineer on the Manhattan Project. He was a senior scientist and staff engineer at Argonne National Laboratory. He later joined the Nuclear Energy Products Division of ACF Industries as a senior physicist.

He joined Republic Aviation Corp. in 1959 as a senior staff engineer and chief of nuclear analysis. He joined Bell Aerosystems in 1965 as a research scientist and Sanders Associates in 1966.

He taught advanced electrodynamics and microwave theory at Fournier Institute of Technology, and graduate nuclear physics at Hofstra University over a five-year period.

Dr. Fricke was a member of the American Nuclear Society, American Chemical Society, American Physical Society, Sigma XI and numerous other professional societies.

In 1970, after the Fields Covered Bridge in Merrimack burned, he designed and built the longest suspension bridge in New Hampshire, so that his children would have access to school transportation. He served as a Boy Scout leader and was highly interested in his children’s science projects. He loved his garden and designed elaborate security systems for it that would keep even the most obstinate of “varmints” at bay.

He completed his bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry, physics and mathematics at the University of Idaho and received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1940.

A complex individual with a subtle sense of humor, he always aimed for the top and usually succeeded. His life can be called nothing less than grand.

Besides his wife and parents, he was predeceased by his granddaughter, Eliza Christina Penrod, who died in 1981.

Survivors include five children, Kathleen Wainman and her husband, Clifford, of Griggsville, Ill., William Fricke and his wife, Anna, of New Fairfield, Conn., Robert Fricke and his wife, Gail, of Abingdon, Md., Karen Penrod and her husband, Allen, of New Boston, and Edwin Fricke Jr. and his wife, Karen, of Smyrna, Tenn.; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind his beloved cat Yellowjacket.

The Cremation Society of New Hampshire of Manchester is in charge of the arrangements.

***
I'm most frustrated that a lot of the magnificent details of my husband's grandfather were not known to him until after he read this obituary. Either his family thought the stories of senility were more interesting to tell or perhaps they were simply easier to remember, but I'm not sure....I'm most touched by the story of the suspension bridge Dr. Fricke built over the river by his house so that his kids could go to school.

Labels:

3 Comments:

Blogger KP said...

Actually Allen and I talked with your Grandfather quite a bit about what he had accomplished in his life. Personally I was not interested in the "senility stories," Much of what seemed like senility to others was your Grandfather skipping over the details to get to the punchline of whatever story he was telling. We developed a talent for backtracking to figure out where he was coming from to get to that punchline and it definitely wasn't based in senility. Don't assume that you know the person or the story. We are all interesting adventures.

Friday, March 12, 2010  
Blogger KP said...

Actually Allen and I talked with your Grandfather quite a bit about what he had accomplished in his life. Personally I was not interested in the "senility stories," Much of what seemed like senility to others was your Grandfather skipping over the details to get to the punchline of whatever story he was telling. We developed a talent for backtracking to figure out where he was coming from to get to that punchline and it definitely wasn't based in senility. Don't assume that you know the person or the story. We are all interesting adventures.

Friday, March 12, 2010  
Blogger NB said...

I KNEW THIS GREAT MAN WHEN HE TRAVELLED FROM MERRIMACK TO BIDDEFORD, MAINE TO TEACH COLLEGE PHYSICS IN THE EARLY 1970'S. I REMEMBER HIS RESUME STATING THAT HE "...WAS WEARING BILATERAL HEARING AIDS...AND THAT HE WAS WORKING ON HIS LAW DEGREE..." PRIOR TO MY SIGNING UP FOR HIS 2ND SEMESTER CLASS, I ASKED IF I HAD ANY CHANCE OF PASSING THE COURSE. HE REPLIED AFFIRMATIVELY, AS LONG AS HE KEPT ENGINEERING MATH OUT OF THE EQUATION. HE PROVED RIGHT...I GOT A "B" FOR THE COURSE. AT TIMES HE WOULD PULL OUT OF HIS BRIEFCASE ITEMS THAT PERTAINED TO THE CLASS, AND INFORMED US, ON MANY OCCASIONS, THAT HE HAD PATENTS ON THOSE PARTICULAR ITEMS. I CONSIDERED HIM QUITE BRILLIANT, EASY TO TALK TO, AND ONE OF THE BEST PROFESSORS I HAVE EVER HAD.
NORM BEGIN NBEGIN@MAINE.RR.COM

Saturday, February 07, 2015  

Post a Comment

<< Home