PAUL SVEJKOVSKY

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December 7, 1935 - August 20, 2014 ROCKWALL, TX Paul Alvin Svejkovsky, age 78, of Rockwall, TX, passed away August 20, 2014, in Rockwall. He was born December 7, 1935, in Oklahoma City, OK, to William and Olga Elizabeth (Swanda) Svejkovsky. Paul was the middle of three boys in the family and grew up on the family farm in Oklahoma City, where he, along with his brothers, helped to work the farm land. As a boy, he loved to hunt and fish and he was very active in 4-H work, one year entering his calf in the American Royal. Paul loved to bird hunt and was fortunate to be able to do that with his close friends and relatives. He was later able to travel twice to Argentina with his son, Blake, and nephew, David, for some wonderful dove hunting. Paul's ingenuity and engineering capabilities found him most often in his machine shop at home, designing and making parts for things on his lathes and milling machine. He loved sharing his knowledge and his shop equipment with family, friends and neighbors. Paul graduated from Yukon High School in 1953; and graduated from Oklahoma University in 1958 with a degree in mechanical engineering; and later, obtained his master's degree from OU in 1968. Upon graduation from Senior ROTC at OU, 2nd Lieutenant Paul was assigned to the 4982 USAR Control Group (Reinf) Oklahoma in June 1958. He received his basic training in the U.S. Army Ordinance School, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, as a 2nd lieutenant. Paul worked at Tinker AFB, Midwest City, OK, as a Mechanical Engineer, where he met his wife to be, Karen Sue Fitzgerald. They married October 21, 1961, when his Reserve Unit was called to active duty to Fort Chaffee, AR, during the Berlin Crisis. Here he rose in rank to 1st lieutenant. Paul and Sue began their life together near Fort Chaffee in Lavaca, AR. Upon discharge from active duty, Paul returned to his work at Tinker AFB, and he and Sue lived on the family farm in Oklahoma City, where their first child, Paul Blake Svejkovsky, was born in 1962. Paul remained in the Army Reserve and rose in rank to captain. In 1964, Paul, Sue and Blake moved to Clear Lake City, TX, where Paul began his career with NASA. Their second child, Karen Elaine, was born there in 1965. The family later moved to Friendswood, TX in 1977. Paul retired from NASA in 1983 and subsequently, was hired by Lockheed, contractor to NASA, and was with them for 10 years before final retirement in 1994. The couple purchased a farm in Leon County, TX in 1971 and retired there in 1994. Their son, Blake, graduated from Texas A&M in 1985. Their daughter, Karen, graduated from Baylor University in 1986 and subsequently, from Baylor College of Dentistry in 1990. Paul and Sue moved to Rockwall in 2006 to be closer to their children and four grandchildren. Paul was a brilliant engineer who holds 28 patents. Among these are a Drive Mechanism for a Linear Motion Conveyor and others relating to that. He was an inventor on the DeBakey/NASA heart pump (Rotary Blood Pump Ventricular Assist Device) patent, which was awarded Commercial Invention of the Year in 2002 and related to that, Paul was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame. In 1990, Paul was awarded Lockheed's highest engineering award, The Robert E. Gross Award for Technical Excellence, Engineer/Scientist of the Year for his outstanding accomplishments in designing, developing and testing the innovative and practical mechanical systems, both for space flight applications and for medical research. Paul is survived by his faithful and loving wife, Sue; son, Paul Blake and wife Lisa and their daughter, Morgan; daughter, Karen and husband Bruce, her daughter, Katie, son, Grant, and their youngest son, Reid; brother, Donald Lee Svejkovsky and wife Mary Jane; nephews, David Svejkovsky, Scott Fitzgerald, and Billy Fitzgerald; nieces, Janet Dorrell, Kathy Phillips, Kathy Taylor, and Janet Pastarello; and many great- nieces and nephews. Paul was a wonderful, faithful husband, father and grandfather, who recently made a profession of faith, leaving himself, his family and friends with such peace about his passing. We will all miss him but are overjoyed that we will all see him again in that glorious heaven God has prepared for us. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, August 23, 2014, in the M.L. Jones Chapel at First Baptist Church, 610 S. Goliad, Rockwall, TX, with Pastor Steve Swofford officiating. The Svejkovsky family requests that any memorials be made to the Mission Waco Wellspring Scholarship Fund. Donations should be sent with the notation, "In Memory of Paul Svejkovsky," to Mission Waco, 1315 N 15th St, Waco, TX 76707.

Published in The Oklahoman on Aug. 23, 2014
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