John Stafford Fritchel 1931 - 2009
John Stafford Fritchel, of Forest, Va., passed away Wednesday, June 17, 2009, after a battle with lung cancer.
Born Sept. 20, 1931, in Hayden to Harry and Mary Lee Fritchel, Jack spent his boyhood on his parents' ranch enjoying hunting, fishing, reading and swimming.
He began working early in his life picking chokecherries, trapping muskrats, milking cows and driving the tractor on Harry's grain farm.
He was valedictorian in eighth and 12th grades. Jack earned his bachelor's degree in Agricultural Engineering from Colorado A&M in 1953.
Following his graduation, Jack moved to the East Coast to begin his career with Bell Labs.
With the Korean War in progress, he served four years in the U.S. Navy.
He married Charlotte Jean Coley (1935-1994), and after his discharge from the Navy, he returned to his work at Bell Labs.
He then joined the Aerospace Department of General Electric in Utica, N.Y.
He remained with GE until his retirement in 1989.
During his stay there, he was promoted to manager of advanced engineering.
Following his retirement, he moved to Lynchburg, Va., and continued to work as a consultant to various companies involved with shipboard radio systems and communications.
His work required Jack and his second wife, Jean (Wuest) to travel the world.
He continued to work up until a few days before his death.
Jack is survived by his loving wife, Jean; his children, Charles Fritchel, Ellen Allen and husband Jim, Tim Fritchel and wife Debbie, all of California; John A. Fritchel and wife Marianne, of Virginia; Jean's children Donna Gerace and husband Don, of New York, Craig Wuest, of Georgia, Mike Wuest and wife Sue, of New York, Karen Zongrone and husband Vincent, of Virginia; Jack's brother Bob Fritchel and wife Jean, of California; and a combined 11 grandchildren.