Frank Engel Jr., 102, died peacefully January 29, 2020 at his home in Wallingford,
CT. He was pre-deceased by his beloved wife of 69 years, Erma. Frank was born in
Steubenville OH and raised in Weirton WV, the son of Frank and Elizabeth “Bessie”
Engel. He and Erma (Booth) met as students at the University of Pittsburgh and
lived in St. Marys PA and Akron OH before settling in Pittsburgh after their
marriage. The family moved to Belmont MA in 1962, when Frank became manager
of Harvard’s newly formed Computing Center. Frank and Erma moved to Ashlar
Village, Wallingford in 2007.
Frank received a BS in Engineering and Physics and a MS in Mathematics from the
University of Pittsburgh. He became interested in computers in the early 1950’s
while working at Westinghouse Electric’s Atomic Power Division, where he was part
of the team that developed the controls for the nuclear reactor in the USS Nautilus,
the world’s first atomic-powered submarine. He became an expert on IBM’s
mainframe computers and was in on the ground floor of their programming and
use; he also worked on the international standardization of the computer
programming language FORTRAN.
Frank was a member of Ashlar Lodge #332 and retained connections with several
Masonic groups in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania; he was a past Master of the
Belmont-Beaver and Ashlar Lodges. His many interests included white-water
canoeing (Appalachian Mountain Club Class 4); singing (Boston’s Handel & Haydn
Society’s chorus, the Highland Glee Club of Newton/Needham); and playing the horn
in marching and swing bands in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. For many
years, Frank and Erma were AARP Tax Counselors for the Elderly for the Watertown
and Belmont Councils on Aging, where they were well-known for their skillful
assistance in tax return preparation; Frank continued this activity for several years
after moving to Connecticut.
Frank was the loving father of Peggy (Peter) Rae of Hamden CT, Linda (Donald)
Winter of McLean VA, Thomas Engel of Medford MA, and Frank III (deceased). He is
also survived by his brother Samuel Engel, grandsons Benjamin (Amber) Winter,
Andrew Rae, and Jonathan Winter, and by great-grandchildren Addie, Owen, and
A memorial service celebrating Frank’s life will be held at 2PM on Friday, March 13,
in the Ashlar Village auditorium. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be
made to the Masonic Charity Foundation or to the charity of one’s choice.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Frank August Engel, please visit our floral store.