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John C. Omelian

John C. Omelian, 73, of Millcreek Twp. died Wednesday February 6, 2013 at his residence. He was born in Erie, May 26, 1939 son of the late Charles and Nellie Hobeck Omelian Survivors include three sons, Eric and wife Smita, Brian and wife Karen, and Mark and wife Janet, nine grandchildren and one great grandson. John attended St. Ann's Elementary School, where he was also a member of the Boy Scouts of America. He graduated from East High School in the top fifth of his class, and was a member of the Cross Country Team. Upon graduation, he chose and enlisted for active duty in the U.S. Air Force where he completed basic training, electronics technical school, and was then assigned to bases in the Air Defense Command. After completing active duty, he was honorably discharged with a Good Conduct Medal and then assigned to two years Inactive Reserve Duty. With his electronics training and military experience he went to work as a Philco Tech Rep Field Engineer at Vandenberg AFB Satellite Tracking Station where he supported tracking operations on military and scientific satellite projects. He was accepted by Cal Polytechnic State College, but had to go back to rotating shift work. After Vandenberg he worked with Philco at the Defense Communications Agency in Washington DC metro area on a Communications Status Project. With good fortune he was selected by Philco to work on the Gemini Manned Spaceflight Project at Mission Control in Houston Texas. He was then assigned to work on the Simulation Checkout and Training System. He actively supported the Gemini program when the first SPACE WALK (EVA) took place. He attended South Texas Junior College before having to go back to shift work. Not being happy with Houston climate, he went to work for Bendix Field Engineering where he completed computer technician training and worked at Goddard Space Flight Center on scientific satellite tracking operations. He then made the transition from computer hardware to computer software and went to work for the Federal Government as a Computer Programmer working first at US Army Corps of Engineers. Afterwards he went to work for Univac Defense System Division as a Real Time Programmer on the Apollo Space Project in Telemetry Integration, working again at Goddard Space Fight Center. Later he went back to work for Bendix Field Engineering as a Computer Technician (electronics) working on the Mission Operations Support Project, again at Goddard Space Fight Center. With good fortune he went back to work with the Federal Government at the Pentagon with the Defense Communications Agency as a Computer Specialist where he worked on projects at Fort Bragg and the country of Panama. He received performance awards while working there. With Return Rights back to the Pentagon he took assignments in Korea and US Army Intelligence and Security Command in Germany, spending a year in each country. He returned to the Pentagon to work. Upon retirement with 20 years combined military and federal service he received the Outstanding Civilian Career Award and Medal. He also attended Gannon College and completed some evening courses there while working full time and having three young kids in the house. John enjoyed Art Work doing pencil sketches, charcoal pastels and oil painting. He was Vice President (board of directors) of the Erie Civic Ballet. He also served as the Treasurer of the Dance Theater of Erie. He attended a ballet conference in St. Petersburg Russia at the World famous Vaganova Ballet Academy. John was a long time supporter of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Enjoying travel he visited Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, East and West Berlin, England, Belgium, Italy, France and Russia. Some of the cities Munich, Insbruck, Geneva, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Berlin, Brussles, Rome, Venice, Paris, St. Petersburg and Moscow. His favorite pastime was spending time on his Catalina 27' sailboat. Friends may call at the Carl A. Slomski & Son Funeral Home Inc., 2101 Ash St. Monday from 9 a.m. to the time of services there at 10 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Ann Church at 10:30 a.m. Private interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery. Send condolences to www.slomskifuneralhome.com


Published in the Erie Times-News on Feb. 10, 2013
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