December 3, 1930 - May 21, 2021
Resident of San Jose, CA
Roger Francis Reedy lived a full and joyful life in service of others: his family and friends, his work colleagues, and his country. After 90 years, he passed away peacefully on May 21, 2021, in the arms of his second wife, Deann Rainey.
On Dec. 3, 1930, Roger (aka Uncle Bud, King Rog) was born on the South Side of Chicago, the fifth of sixth children raised by Thomas James Reedy and Frances Davis. His two loving sisters, Clare and Mary Ellen, were the oldest and youngest. Roger's three older brothers (Tom, Bob, and Rich) each served in World War II. All but Mary Ellen have now left us.
Roger had a piercing intelligence, tremendous curiosity, and an abundant sense of humor. He graduated from St. Ignatius High School, Chicago, in 1949. He received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1953, as a member of the Navy ROTC program. He promptly reported to the United States Navy, as an ensign, and served for three years, which included a trip sailing around the world, while based in Newport, Rhode Island. He was honorably discharged as Lieutenant, Junior Grade, in 1956.
In October, 1954, he married Mary Catherine Gannon, and loved her dearly for 55 years, until she passed away in April 2010. They raised eight children: Kevin, Michael, John, Marcy, Brian, Anne, Roger, and David, born from 1955 through 1969, while living in Oak Lawn and La Grange, Illinois.
Roger worked as a civil and structural engineer for Chicago Bridge and Iron for 20 years after his naval service, until he moved the entire family to Los Gatos, California in 1976. Roger was an expert in the design of pressure and containment vessels in the nuclear power industry. He also designed structures for fossil fuel plants, chemical plants, and refineries. He served on and chaired committees that established the codes and regulations for nuclear power plants for over 40 years. He worked with clients in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. He was elected as an honorary member of a nuclear construction committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2020. He mentored, taught, and encouraged many appreciative engineers during his career. He was highly successful as an expert witness in dozens of cases, in which his reports and testimony often were a decisive factor.
Uncle Bud loved his large extended family, which included over 40 nephews and nieces, 12 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He married Deann Rainey in Oct. 2014, and they shared great happiness and much laughter together.
Dad had a passion for living, especially for family, sports, travel, and politics. He loved America, but recognized when it could do better. When he first traveled to Japan, while in the Navy, he learned the propaganda and prejudice of the war years were wrong. He came to love and respect not only the Japanese people, but all the people and cultures he met during his many years of travel.
Dad was a great listener, who loved to tell stories, correct grammatical errors, and "pun-ish" people with terrible puns. He kept in touch with all his nieces and nephews, whom he loved dearly and they loved in return. He enjoyed great vitality, and is laughing or smiling broadly in many photos.
We will miss his strength, his kind and gentle nature, his relentless quest to be better and do better, his enduring heart and soul. He was always the one we could count on being available to help or listen. We take solace in the following salutation for sailors, provided by a Navy veteran and friend: "Shipmate, lay down your oar. We have the watch now. Fair winds and following seas."
Plans to celebrate Roger's life are being developed, for our friends in California and Chicago. View the online memorial for Roger Reedy