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Austin, TX 78705
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Marcel Gres

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Marcel Emile Gres Marcel Emile Gres, a long-time resident of Austin, age 90, died on January 5, 2013 in Austin. He was born to French parents Elie P. Gres and Germaine M. Gres on April 16, 1922 and was raised in San Francisco, California. After graduating from St. Ignatius College Preparatory School, he attended Santa Clara University on a football scholarship and studied Mechanical Engineering. The week after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Marcel and several of his friends enlisted in the navy, and was assigned to the V-7 Officer Candidate Program and returned to college. In 1943, the V-7 program was replaced by the V-12 program and he and a train full of other California students were sent to the University of Texas, where he continued his studies. He played on the Texas football team that won the Southwest Conference championship in 1943. Most significantly, Marcel met Charlotte Mayes, whom he married in 1946 after returning from the war. After graduating from Midshipman's school he served on minesweepers in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In 1946 he was discharged from active duty and returned to U.T. to complete his studies and married Charlotte. After graduating, he and Charlotte moved to Schenectady, New York where Marcel worked for General Electric, Inc. After a year, they returned to Austin, having accepted a position as instructor in Mechanical Engineering and studied for his Master's degree. He also worked part time at U.T. Defense Research Laboratory. After he obtained his degree he gave up his instructor's position and went to work full time at DRL where he headed up the Mechanical Engineering section. In 1956 he, together with physicist Obie Baltzer and mathematician Gene Smith, left DRL and started Textran Corporation. Textran was a small engineering firm conducting research in countermeasures and very low frequency technologies. In 1962, Marcel was the catalyst for the merger with Texas Research Associates, another offshoot from DRL which was started by Richard Lane, Frank Mc.Bee and Ray Hurd, to form Tracor Inc. Marcel's contributions to the development of many of Tracor's defense and commercial product lines was significant. At Tracor Marcel was on the Board of Directors and held several management positions before retiring in 1987 as senior Vice President. He was a member of Sigma Xi and Pi Tau Sigma, Honorary Mechanical Engineering Fraternity. In 2007 Marcel was inducted in U.T.'s Mechanical Engineering's Hall of Fame. Marcel enjoyed snow skiing with his family during winter vacations and sailing on Lake Travis. He was one of the founders of the Austin Yacht Club and a member of the Headliners Club. He served on the board of directors of Tracor and the Austin Cerebral Palsy Center. After retiring he did some consulting work at Tracor and several small companies in Austin. He also played golf to occupy his time. He and Charlotte traveled extensively after he retired. In 2003 they moved to Westminster Manor retirement community, where they enjoyed the friendship of the residents and kindness of the staff. Marcel is predeceased by his son-in-law David DeBerry and is survived by Charlotte, his wife of 66 years, his daughter Judith DeBerry, his daughter and son-in-law Patricia and Mac Shuford, his son and daughter-in-law John and Lisa Gres. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Christina Leinart, Quink DeBerry, Brooke Luz, Robert Shuford, Megan Cowell, and Patrick Gres, and by six great grandsons. Funeral services are 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 8, at All Saint's Episcopal Church. Interment will follow at Austin Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a . Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Jan. 7 to Jan. 8, 2013
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