Frank E. Rom Sr., 86, of Venice, died Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, after a long illness.
Born Aug. 16, 1926, in Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of Austrian immigrants Frank and Josefa Rom, he was educated in the New York public schools, attended Cooper Union School and served in the Navy during World War II. He graduated from Cornell University with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, then joined NACA at the Lewis Research Center in Cleveland in 1948, where he met his future wife, Marilyn McNamara, of Avon Lake, Ohio.
His 25-year career at NACA/NASA included contact with many of the early pioneers of aviation, aerospace and physics. He was instrumental in the growth of the NASA Plum Brook Reactor Facility in Sandusky, Ohio, developing applications for nuclear energy in research and alternative technologies. Mr. Rom authored numerous scientific papers and articles and held several patents on gas-core nuclear propulsion systems and related technologies. He was a member of several aviation and aerospace societies.
After his retirement from NASA, Mr. Rom founded Rom-Aire Solar Corporation based on his patented designs of solar heating, and earned his professional engineering license.
Frank and Marilyn were active members of St. Joseph’s Church in Avon Lake. After moving to Venice in 1980, both were eucharistic ministers and active members of Epiphany Cathedral.
Mr. Rom was also a member of the Knights of Columbus. His other interests were boating, sailing, fishing, travel, good conversation and enjoying the last 40 summers at their home on Kelleys Island, Ohio. Frank and Marilyn recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary.
Survivors include his wife, Marilyn; children, Mary Anne Lowe (Carl) of Avon Lake, Ohio, Paul of Louisville, Ky., Barbara Martin (Charles) of Bedford, Texas, Kathy Burant-Donahoe (Harper) of Grandy, N.C., Laura Creighton (Thomas) of Venice and Mark (Caren) of Englewood; daughter-in-law Heidi Rom of North Ridgeville, Ohio; seven nieces and nephews; 21 grandchildren; and 27 great-grandchildren. Mr. Rom was preceded in death by a son (Frank, Jr.), a brother (Joseph) and his parents
Services: A Memorial Mass will be held at 11a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Epiphany Cathedral, with interment following in the church’s Memorial Rose Garden. Ewing Funeral Home of Venice is handling arrangements.
Contribution: In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Multiple Sclerosis Society.