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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, a longtime resident of Williamsville, 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.

At Bell, he was director of manufacturing during the construction of the World War II-era B-29 bomber and later worked in the development of the Bell X1, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier.

Gaspar also assisted in the development of the Minuteman missile and was instrumental in the design of the automatic landing system used on 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.

During his retirement Gaspar, an avid clock maker, watchmaker and repairman, was a member of the National Watch and 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. next Thursday in Kenmore United Methodist Church, 32 Landers Road. Burial will be in Uniondale, Pa.


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