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STEPHEN GASPAR, RETIRED BELL AEROSPACE OFFICIAL

Stephen Gaspar, a retired administrative director of Bell Aerospace Textron, whose career took him from the infancy of jet propulsion to the space age, died Monday (Sept. 29, 1997) in Harvest Village Retirement Community, Atco, N.J. He was 84.

Gaspar was a longtime resident of Williamsville and moved to the retirement community in New Jersey in 1995.

For 34 years, he worked for Bell at facilities in California and Wheatfield. Before joining Bell, he worked for Vultee Aircraft and Curtiss-Wright Corp.

Born and raised in Forest City, Pa., Gaspar entered the aircraft field about two years after he graduated from high school.

At Bell, he was director of manufacturing during the construction of the World War II vintage B-29 bomber and later worked in the development of the Bell X-I, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier.

Gaspar also assisted in the development of the Minuteman missile and was instrumental in the design and perfection of the automatic landing system used in today's modern aircraft carriers.

He worked on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs.

Gaspar held a private pilot's license for more than 50 years.

An avid clock and watch maker and repairman, during his retirement Gaspar was a member of the National Watch & Clock Society and the Craftsman Club of Kenmore.

Survivors include his wife, the former Hilda Walker of Atco; a son, Mark of Wallingford Pa.; and two grandsons.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday in Kenmore United Methodist Church, 32 Landers Road. Burial will be in Uniondale, Pa.

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