John H. Rubel

Obituary
4 entries
  • "I only knew John for a short period of time and he was able..."
    - Scott Frederick
  • "John was a Caltech classmate and longtime friend of my..."
    - Michael Irving
  • "Dear Robin, I had the pleasure of working with John on..."
    - Jim Rubin
  • "Dear Robin We were saddened to read of John's passing. We..."
    - Eva Borins
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JOHN H RUBEL JOHN H RUBEL, 94, passed away on January 13, 2015. John was born in Chicago, Illinois, on April 27, 1920. He spent his early childhood there until his family moved to Los Angeles in 1931. Mr. Rubel graduated with honors from the California Institute of Technology. He married his first wife, Dorothy Rosenkranz, his childhood sweetheart, upon her graduation from Pomona College in June, 1942. John worked as an engineer on classified war projects in the General Electric Research Laboratories during WWII. After the war he joined the Hughes Aircraft Company where he became the Director of a large development laboratory. After Sputnik was launched, he left for the Pentagon in early 1959 to serve as Assistant Director of Defense Research and Engineering for strategic weapons. He was named Deputy Director and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering in the Kennedy administration. During his tenure under the Eisenhower and Kennedy adminstrations, he was instrumental in the development of the first geosynchronous satellite system. Later, John worked for Litton Industries as a senior VP, where he won the contract from the Navy to design the Landing Helicopter Aircraft ships, which represented a major shift in naval design. This project also included working on the creation of the world's most automated shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. He worked with an amazing group of engineers and navy personnel to write a 25,000 word book on the LHA ships - with the caveat that no one could edit or change a single word and no one has. After his wonderful wife Dorothy passed away in 1975, John remained a widower until 1981, when he married his great love, Robin Emery. Three years later they moved to Tesuque, New Mexico, and later to Santa Fe. In their first years in Tesuque, John earned a Master's Degree in Liberal Arts from St. John's College. Poetry and literature were the cornerstones of Mr. Rubel's intellectual pursuits. He published numerous books and a collection of poetry, and was extraordinarily adept at reciting both poetry and prose. Had he decided to pursue a different career, there is no question that he would have been a fine Shakespearean actor. John had a unique ability to touch others. He was a brilliant scholar, a devoted friend, a loving father and grandfather, and an adoring husband. He left a profound impression upon anyone whom he ever encountered. When one thinks of John Rubel, it is with the knowledge that he was a rare Renaissance man. John is survived by his wife, Robin; his daughter, Angela Rubel; two sons, Robert and William Rubel; and grandchildren Keagan, Darcy, Eli, Tobias, and Stella. A celebration of John's life will take place at a later date.
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Jan. 18, 2015
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