David Whittier Roese

Age 82 Navy veteran was a Westinghouse engineer for 45 years.

July 12, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

David Whittier Roese, a retired Westinghouse Electric Corp. project manager and World War II veteran, died Sunday of complications from Parkinson's disease at Hospice House in Centreville. The former longtime Catonsville resident was 82.

Mr. Roese was born in Wilkinsburg, Pa., and raised in Erie, Pa., and Pittsburgh. After graduating from Avon High School in Erie in 1943, he briefly attended Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., before enlisting in the Navy in 1944.

As a radar technician, he served in the Pacific before being discharged in 1946. He returned to Allegheny College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1948, and later took graduate courses at the Johns Hopkins University.

Mr. Roese began his career with Westinghouse as a scientific engineer in 1947, while he was in college. In 1951, he became a member of the original contingent of engineers sent to Baltimore to establish a plant, later built in Linthicum.

As a project manager, Mr. Roese worked on the development of gyroscopes, the Gemini and Apollo space programs, the lunar module hook-up, and the Doppler weather radar used by the military and airports.

His other major projects included AWACS radar and ground field radar, family members said.

After retiring in 1992, he volunteered for many years at Maryland Public Television in Owings Mills, researching viewers' questions. Mr. Roese was also an active member of the Catonsville United Methodist Church and a past president of the National Exchange Club. He also served as manager of the Catonsville Model Rocket Club, where he helped children build and launch model rockets.

Mr. Roese and his wife, the former Helen M. Stenstrom, enjoyed dancing and were members of the Catonsville Cotillion Dance Club and several bridge clubs.

In 1984, the couple moved to Severna Park, and since 2005, Mr. Roese had been living in Chestertown. Mrs. Roese died in 1993 after 45 years of marriage.

A memorial will be held at 1 p.m Wednesday at Great Oak Manor Bed & Breakfast, 10568 Cliff Road in Chestertown. Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m Thursday at Lake View Memorial Park, 2724 Liberty Road, Sykesville.

Surviving are a son, Craig D. Roese of Catonsville; two daughters, Karen C. Roese of Catonsville and Cassandra R. Fedas of Chestertown; a brother, Paul Roese of Naples, Fla.; and a sister, Jean Phelps of Pittsburgh.

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