Hans G. Toews, 58, who as a child twice fled communism with only the clothes on his back and went on to a successful career as an aerospace engineer in this country, died Saturday (Sept. 22, 2001) in his East Aurora home after a long illness.
Toews was born in Konigsberg, East Prussia, and as an infant was taken by his parents to what would become East Germany.
After World War II, they again fled and lived as refugees in Hamburg, West Germany, until he was able to emigrate to this country in the early 1960s.
Toews lived in Rochester and received an engineering degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. He also did graduate work at Cornell University. He worked at Eastman Kodak in Rochester before joining Moog Inc. in Elma, where he became principal engineer of the Space Products Division. During his 26 years at Moog, he worked on the space shuttle and helped develop equipment to enable astronauts to maneuver during spacewalks.
He enjoyed gardening, carpentry, cooking and reading "while always analyzing and creating," according to his family.
Surviving are his wife of 27 years, Sharon Watts Toews; a daughter, Karrie-Ann of Boston, Mass.; a son, Hans-Peter of East Aurora; his mother, Erika Helwig Toews of Bremerhaven, Germany; and a sister, Gudren Tetlow of Zimbabwe.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday in Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, Main and Center streets, East Aurora.