Obituary of Herbert Peter Engel
Herbert Peter Engel, an accomplished engineer for the Kennedy Space Center, died at St Francis Reflections Hospice in Titusville, FL on June 2, 2023. He was 85 years old.
He preferred to be called by his middle name, Peter. Son to Herbert K Engel and Florence Joyce Rowley Engel; Peter was born on August 27, 1937, on the Knox Trail Farm in West Ghent, NY where he grew up bailing hay and rewiring electric motors as a kid. Peter graduated from Hudson High School in 1954. He earned a Physics degree from SUNY Albany and excelled in his early career as a Physics teacher. His talents for drawing, teaching, and his gifts for mathematical reasoning and science helped him excel. He married Sandra Giannattasio in 1960, attended graduate school for his engineering degrees at the University of Connecticut and University of Arizona in the late 1960’s. and returned to Upstate NY for his first engineering job at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna, NY. Peter and Sandra divorced in 1977.
He moved to Melbourne, FL in 1984 and began his contract work for the Kennedy Space Center as Chief Scientist at EG&G Florida using nondestructive testing to analyze NASA’s space vehicle hardware using Computed Tomography (CT) techniques. Peter remarried in Florida to Julie Switzler from 1988 until 1994 . They built their dream home together in Melbourne, and he remained in that home for the rest of his life.
He left Kennedy Space Center to work on Research and Development for advanced industrial CT solutions at Scientific Measurement Systems (SMS) in Austin, TX from 1998 – 2004. He returned to working for EG&G at Kennedy Space Center from 2004 until his retirement at age 75 in 2013. Throughout his career, he used his drawing and teaching talents to develop imaging technologies for engineers, while helping others understand the foundational mathematical concepts behind it.
Peter had 3 daughters with Sandra. His eldest daughter Tani, born in 1961 died of cancer in 2006, and of his twin daughters born in 1964, only one named Heidi survived.
Peter Engel is survived by his older sister Lois Anderson of Kingston, NY, his 5 nephews and 1 niece, his daughter Heidi Engel of San Francisco, CA and his 3 grandchildren -Natasha, Havel, and Josephine Weidner.
Services will be held on June 24, 2023 at 1:00pm graveside in the West Ghent, NY cemetery with a reception after to be held at the West Ghent Reformed church.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Herbert Engel, please visit Tribute Store