Montville - Emil Fritz Soderberg, 84, of Oakdale, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013.|
He was born Feb. 3, 1929, in Worcester, Mass., the son of the late Rev. Fritz Soderberg and Olga (EdlÃ©n) Soderberg.
He and Millicent Bates were married by his father at the Emanuel Lutheran Church in North Grosvenordale, on Aug. 11, 1951. Millicent passed away in July 2002, after a courageous battle with cancer.
He is survived by a loving family of three daughters, Janice Chankar of Norwich, Linda Ali of Rapid City, S.D., Lori Baron of Norwich; six grandchildren, Amy Bellantoni and her husband, Rory, Marwan Chankar, Christopher McFarlane and his wife, Arianne, Jennifer Tacca and her husband, Marco, Kathryn Baron, and Gillian Baron; and seven great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his sister, Carolyn Maravalli.
Following graduation from Tourtellotte Memorial High School, Mr. Soderberg enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving from December 1947 to December 1951. During the period of the Korean War, he served on the light cruiser USS ROANOKE (CL-145) as part of the Navy Occupation Service in the Mediterranean. He received the Navy Occupation Service Medal - Europe, the Navy Good Conduct Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.
After his honorable discharge from the Navy, he was employed by Raytheon in Waltham, Mass., as a final testman, readying portable radar systems for acceptance by the Army Inspector. Subsequently, he was transferred to Harvey-Wells Electronics in Southbridge as head of the vendor-inspector team for the radar sets. During this time, he attended the University of Connecticut at Storrs, receiving a bachelor of arts degree in physics in June 1957. Later, in 1976, he received a master of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Rhode Island.
In June 1957, he joined the Navy Laboratory in New London (U.S. Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory/Naval Underwater Systems Center/Naval Undersea Warfare Center) as a scientist in the Civil Service. He served as project leader for underwater electromagnetics studies of natural and manmade noise in the sea (self-noise of ships and submarines and underwater electromagnetic noise arising from lightning storms and industrial power sources). He also worked with the University of Genoa on joint NASA/Italian Space Agency experiments using the space shuttle Atlantis to make electric and magnetic measurements in the earth's ionosphere. He retired from the Navy Laboratory in 1986 after a 29-year career as an oceanographic physicist/engineer/technician/experimenter, and joined Analysis & Technology in New London, where he worked until his retirement in 1996.
Mr. Soderberg was a member of URSI (International Radio Science Union) Commission E and served as the U.S. National Chairman of the URSI Commission on Electromagnetic Noise and Interference. He was a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of Physics, the European Geophysical Society, the Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences of Japan, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the Antennas and Propogation Society, Oceanic Engineering Society, Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honor Society, and was also a member of both Mensa and Intertel, serving as area coordinator for Connecticut/Rhode Island Intertel.
At various times, Mr. Soderberg served as chairman of the Conservation Commission of Montville, member of the Advisory Board of the New London County Historical Society, president and area governor of New London Area Toastmasters, member of the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Connecticut Alumni Association of the University of Connecticut, president of the Montville Chapter of the American Field Service (international student exchange program), member of the Board of Directors of the Mystic Art Association, as well as an elected artist member of the Mystic Arts Center. He had been a member of the Emanuel Lutheran Church in North Grosvenordale, an elder of Faith Lutheran Church in Groton, and was a member of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Norwich. He was a member of the Quaker Hill Rod & Gun Club and a member of the American Legion. He was also an active member of the Eastern Connecticut Traffic Net and the Amateur Radio Services (ARS). His interests included photography, art studies, and oil painting. He treasured time spent with his Courtyard Gallery family and his Out To Lunch Bunch.
Calling hours will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at the Church & Allen Funeral Home, 136 Sachem St., Norwich, followed by a memorial service with military honors. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Center for Hospice Care Southeast Connecticut, 227 Dunham St., Norwich, CT 06360.
To leave an online condolence for Emil Soderberg's family, please visit his memorial at www.churchandallen.com.
Published in The Day on Feb. 25, 2013