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Edward Michael Seman passed away peacefully on the morning of March 29, 2013.
He was born in Braddock, Pennsylvania, on January 31, 1934, to Mary and Michael Seman. He had two younger siblings, Michael Seman and Marlene Smith.
In the mid-1950s, he enlisted in the Army and due to test placements was transferred to White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico, to begin guided missile propellant school. It was here that his long and distinguished career in rocketry began.
Upon being discharged from the Army, he enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh and graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering. In 1960, he began his lifelong career at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL), Hercules Incorporated, in Rocket Center, West Virginia.
He began as a design engineer. In 1962, his office moved to Cape Canaveral, Florida, where he served as the representative for Hercules at the Naval Weapons Station. From 1963 to 1967, his office was transferred to Lockheed Missile and Space Company in Sunnyvale, California. In 1967, he was transferred to the Bacchus Works plant outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. It was here he started a family.
He was involved in many rocket programs at Hercules, including the Nike, Minuteman and Pershing II. Highlighting his career, he was the manager of Trident-I (C-4) Third Stage and program manager Trident-II (D-5), the chief missile of America's current submarine-launch nuclear deterrent.
In 1987, he became the program director of Titan IV, at that point the largest American engineered rocket ever produced. In 1993, he was transferred back to Cape Canaveral, where he oversaw the Titan IV program, and he retired in 1995.
He was an avid lover of all things nautical and aviary, in addition to rocketry and space. There wasn't a plane, boat or submarine he couldn't name. He enjoyed golfing, hockey, hiking, attending the symphony and studying history.
He lived an eccentric lifestyle and enjoyed collecting gadgets amongst other things.
Yet amongst all his success and many intense interests, it was his family he loved above all else.
He is profoundly missed by his three surviving children, Jill (Mike) Coleman, Janet Seman and her husband, Tim Corey, and Michael Seman and his wife, Ashley Murphey. He is also survived by Jill's children, Alex and Mary; Janet's children, Olivia and Haley; and Michael's son, Søren; as well as his sister, Marlene Smith.
A memorial will be held on Friday, April 19, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Hiller Aviation Museum, 601 Skyway Road, San Carlos, CA 94070, 650-654-0200.
Sequim Valley Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Please leave condolences at www.sequimvalleychapel.com.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Apr. 5, 2013