Soldotna resident, David William Stein passed away at Central Peninsula Hospital, in Soldotna, Alaska on November 12, 2020 just days after celebrating his 88th birthday surrounded by family.
A native of Ohio, born in Dayton, Ohio in 1932, Dave was the son of George Henry and Agnes Katherine (Hummerich) Stein. Dave met his wife, Jane, at Purdue University and they were married on campus in 1954. Dave and Jane moved full-time to Soldotna in 1988.
Dave earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in January of 1955.
Dave served two years in the U.S. Army and in 1959, he and Jane, along with son George and daughter Kathy, moved to San Diego, California where he worked at General Dynamics for 30 years as a Senior Design Engineer for the propulsion system of the Atlas rocket used in the Mercury space program and also worked on the propulsion system for GD cruise missiles.
In retirement, Dave enjoyed golfing at Birch Ridge Golf Course, his three grandchildren and his 5 great-grandsons. He spent many hours researching the family genealogy and had over 30,000 names on the family tree in his files.
Dave was involved in his faith community from a young age in several different capacities: Sunday School Superintendent, choir, usher, counter, bell choir member. He was a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna.
Dave will be remembered by his family, friends and former co-workers as "a Space Pioneer, mentor, an outstanding Propulsion Systems engineer and a gentleman friend of the highest quality."
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, George E. Stein and his wife Jane (McEllhiney) Stein.
Dave is survived by children, George W. Stein (Sue) of Soldotna, Alaska and Kathy Gensel (Daniel) of Soldotna, Alaska; grandchildren, Sarah S. Works (Joe) of Kathleen, Georgia, Gregory D. Stein of Kenai, Alaska and Andrea J. Frey (Lee) of Soldotna, Alaska; and five great-grandsons, Andrew L. Stein, Mason B. Works, Brendan D. Frey, Blake B. Stein and Cameron L. Frey.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made in Dave's memory to the Birch Ridge Golf Association – Jr. Golf Program. Condolences may be sent to the Stein Family, P.O. Box 2931, Soldotna, AK, 99669.
A celebration of life is scheduled for July 17, 2021 at Birch Ridge Golf Course.
Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.
Published in Peninsula Clarion on Nov. 22, 2020.