• Thomas J. Rahaim ’51ME

    Thomas J. Rahaim ’51ME

    Thomas Rahaim, 92, of Claymont, DE set sail for a distant shore on October 21, 2015. He passed peacefully with his bride of 65 years, Betty, at his side. Born November 2 1922, in Worcester Massachusetts, to John and Margaret Rahaim. He moved to Brooklyn, New York at an early age. He quickly adapted to the pace of city life: playing stickball in the streets, traveling the subway to Coney Island and taking the ferry to go on camping trips to the then far reaches of the world, Staten Island. In high school at St. Michael's, he was an excellent student. While there, he joined the U.S. Naval Reserve as a means of getting some useful training as a machinist and perhaps to earn a dollar or two. He did not intend to see the world or have an adventure. The Navy had other plans for him. Upon graduation from high school in 1940, Tom enrolled in the mechanical engineering program at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. After just a few months as a freshman, Uncle Sam interrupted his studies and, on April 20, 1941, he was called into active duty service in the U.S. Navy. For the next four and a half years, he served on a series of ships in every theater of naval operations during WWII as a machinist mate and deck gunner.

    Prior to Pearl Harbor, he was assigned to destroyer duty escorting convoys to Britain. He subsequently transferred to the cruiser USS Savannah (CL-42). Aboard the Savanna, his ship participated in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily and the Italian peninsula. On September 11, 1943, while supporting the landings at Salerno, Italy, the Savannah was put out of action with the loss of nearly one fourth of the crew. The ship was able to return to Malta where Tom was ever grateful to the English sailors who provided rum, clothes and shelter to those men, like him, who had lost everything but their skins in the battle. While on Malta, he even crossed a gangplank with Winston Churchill, who saluted and flashed a victory sign. Several months later, he was transferred to the USS Lyman Swenson (DD-729), a new destroyer bound for the Pacific.

    He survived typhoons, the Japanese air force and the invasions of the Philippines, Okinawa and against the Japanese mainland, including torpedo runs into Tokyo Bay itself. Most of his teeth fell out. He did, however, learn to make brandy from prune juice. This was one of the limited numbers of transferable skills he took from the Navy. Tom finished the war in Tokyo Harbor, shipping for home on September 20, 1945 and was honorably discharged at San Francisco on November 8, 1945. He was proud of his service but for many years, spoke little of it. Being part of such a mission meant much to him but the loss of crew mates and neighborhood friends was sharply felt and diminished little with time. Returning to Brooklyn, after a stint as a tool and die maker, Tom re-enrolled in Brooklyn Polytechnic (now NYU's engineering school). In 1950, he graduated with honors and started a distinguished career as a design mechanical engineer with Westinghouse. He later earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Delaware in mechanical engineering, traveled the world installing power plants he had designed and earned more than a dozen patents as sole or part inventor of unique turbine assemblies. While at Brooklyn Poly, he met the love of his life, Elizabeth O'Dwyer, a nursing student and neighborhood girl from Ireland who turned out to be a classmate of his sister Betty. In many ways, Brooklyn is just a small town. After dating for a few years, they were married the day after Christmas in 1950. Following a quick stint in Westinghouse's elite mechanical design school in Pittsburgh, they moved to Chester, PA and started family life.

    Three years later they moved to Claymont where the raised their four sons, Thomas, Andrew, John and Stephen. Raising four boys was a challenge that he met well. He valued practical education how to do things rather than how to talk about doing things- and self-sufficiency. He passed that on in no small measure to his children. He could build a speedboat by hand, drop a new engine into an old Volkswagen, reef a sailboat alone under heavy weather, brew beer and make a soufflé that did not fall. He made sure his sons could do all these things as well, if not with the same level of competence. As the family grew, he began cooking famous Sunday dinners, making sure everyone would come together around the table each week. He was a self-taught master cook. Soon, kid's tables were added and expanded and it became normal for a Sunday meal to have 20 or more people crowed about bemoaning the Eagles and asking for seconds. He did this for more than 30 years. In retirement, Tom and Betty sailed the Chesapeake out of the Bohemia River and Havre de Grace. They also traveled the world. Tom and Betty saw many of the places he had seen through war or work- Europe, China, the USSR, South America, the Middle East, and Australia and, on one trip, to the old country farm in Cashel, Ireland where Betty was born.

    He had a dry sharp wit and a good sense of humor. People smiled when you mentioned his name. They will continue to do so. He will be greatly missed. In addition to his wife and sons, Tom is survived by his daughters-in-law, Lisa Rahaim of Woodstown, New Jersey, Jean Rahaim of Newark, Delaware, Joanne Rahaim of Cincinnati, Ohio and Julie Rahaim of Wilmington Delaware, thirteen adoring grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 

  • Charles F. Wunderlin ’41ME

    Charles F. Wunderlin ’41ME

    Charles Francis, age 95, of Fairfield passed away peacefully on August 15th 2015. Charlie was born and grew up in Bayonne, NJ during the Great Depression. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. Charlie met Fran, his wife of 74 years, in Bayonne. They were engaged the evening before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Charlie served as a Flight Engineer for the US Army Air Corps during WW II. Upon returning from the war, he and Fran moved to Franklin Lakes, NJ. In the late 1940's, Charlie worked as an engineer for Curtiss Wright Aeronautics while also attending night school at Columbia University. They did not own a car; Charlie hitched rides from the local police chief to get to and from Columbia University where he earned his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He proudly served as a volunteer fireman for more than 20 years; and played Santa Claus for the children of Franklin Lakes.

    After 24 years at Curtiss Wright, Charlie and Fran moved to Fairfield where Charlie took a job with General Electric, where he worked in their aircraft engine division for over 30 years. Charlie traveled extensively to France, England, Saudi Arabia, and Russia while managing and supporting aircraft engine design, production, and sales. He volunteered to repair audio devices for the blind for the Cincinnati Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

    Charlie's true passion was flying. He earned his pilot's license at age 17. During his student pilot flight training, a mechanical issue once forced him to make an emergency landing at Brooklyn's Canarsie Dump. His work with aircraft engines was another passion. Charlie was an amazing source of information about anything related to aircraft. In his free time, he enjoyed skiing, and often traveled to Colorado and Montana to ski with family members. He was a fine bowler; actively followed the stock market; and was quick to join in lively political discussions. Charlie had a strong work ethic and was frugal by nature; he took great pride in saving a few dollars whenever possible. Charlie was a devout Catholic and member of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Fairfield. Despite his health issues in recent years, he rarely missed a Saturday evening mass. Charlie is survived by his wife Frances and daughters Karen (John) Savage and Gail (Phil Clavey) Wunderlin ; grandchildren Scott Savage, Megan Savage Hart, and Alex Wunderlin Beigh; and great grandchildren Lucas Savage, William Hart and Andrew Hart.

  • Martin F. Ammenwerth ’53ME

     Martin F. Ammenwerth ’53ME

    Martin was born on May 30, 1929 and passed away on Sunday, November 8, 2015. Martin was a resident of New Providence, New Jersey at the time of his passing.

    He was a 1953 graduate of Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and worked as a Production Engineer for RCA in Newark where he was a contributor on projects for NASA. He then worked as a Plant Manager for Hartz Mountain in Harrison, NJ for 20 years before retiring in 1993. 

    Martin was a longtime active parishioner of Our Lady of Peace Church where he served as a Eucharistic Minister and as a leader and organizer for many of the churchs ministries such as the RCIA program and Renew, among others.He was an active member and former board member of the New Providence Senior Citizens, where he provided much entertainment for all. After retiring Martin became an active volunteer as a driver for both the Summit-Area Red Cross and SAGE Meals on Wheels. 

    Martins greatest love was for his family. He treasured his time with them vacationing at Camp Linwood, Lake Cayuga, and Long Beach Island.He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Ida (nee Hofmann); his loving children Marty V. Ammenwerth of New Providence, Eileen (J.R.) Helberg of Union, Laurie (John) Closs of New Providence, and Doris (Andrew) Dundorf of Hillsborough; his 8 cherished grandchildren, Joey and Eddy Helberg, John (Abby), Kelly Ann, and Kimberly Closs, and Timmy, Kenny Martin, and Kaitlyn Dundorf. He is also survived by his dear brother Joseph (Josie) Ammenwerth of Long Island, NY and his brother-in-law Edmund (Joanna) Hofmann of Jackson Hts., NY. Martin is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. 

    He was loved by many and will be truly missed by those who knew him.

  • Jacob D Bekenstein ’69

    Dr. Alvin J. Paullay, a resident of Tappan, New York since 1968, passed away on Monday, August 03, 2015. He is survived by his loving wife Roberta Paullay, daughter Irina M. Paullay Ph.D., and son-in-law Michael D. Schwalberg Ph.D. of New City, New York, son Steven D. Paullay Esq. and daughter-in-law Allison K. Lowy Esq. of Yorktown Heights, New York, grandchildren Hannah, Matthew, and Ian Schwalberg, and Isabella and Remy Paullay, and Brother Harold Paullay of New York. 

    Alvin J. Paullay was born November 4, 1931, in New York City, New York. He grew up in the Bronx, attended JHS 117, receiving the medal for Excellence in Mathematics at graduation; and the Bronx HS of Science, where he lettered in track and field, and graduated in the upper fourth of the class. He was Scoutmaster of Troop 267, BSA, Bronx, served on Camp Ranachqua staff, and was a member of the Order of the Arrow, WWW. He received a BCE from the City College of New York in 1953, again lettering in Track and Field, an MS in CE from Columbia University in 1958, and a Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1969. He did post-doctoral studies at the University of Southern California, Stanford University, and Courant Institute for Mathematical Science. He was a member of honor fraternities Chi Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Gamma Tau, and Sigma Xi and of professional societies ASCE, AIAA, AAUP, MAA, and the Planetary, and the Mars Societies. He was a licensed professional engineer. 

    Dr. Paullay was employed as an engineer at the Port of New York Authority where he designed an extension to a major runway at Newark Airport to accommodate jet aircrafts and later a structural engineer with the Rocketdyne Corp., Canoga Park, CA, where he was cited for his analysis of engine components on the rocket used in the Mercury Program. He participated in a Hurricane Damage Survey for the firm of TAMS, Engineers, estimating the damage to the City, of New York due to a 15 foot rise in the water level, and made recommendations to minimize the damage. He was a NASA Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena, CA, and again at the NASA-Ames Research Center, Moffitt Field, CA, where his work on the "finite volume method" for solving the equations of shock wave flow was widely recognized. Dr. Paullay was an industrial consultant from 1977 to 1994, working in turbulent jet flow for the Grumman Aerospace Corp., and developing Custom scientific software for the Union Carbide Corporation. He authored or co- authored many important papers in the area of viscous shock waves, computational fluid dynamics, turbulent jet flow, and the fractal nature of metal fracture. He was, for many years, a member of the engineering faculty of the City College of New York, and mathematics faculty of Bronx CC/CUNY, where he introduced the pre-computer science option. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 1995. 

    Throughout his professional life, Dr. Paullay remained active in track and field, coaching at CCNY, and founding and coaching the Bruce TC of New York. He was president of the Metropolitan Track Coaches Association, secretary of the Collegiate Track Conference, and member of the Board of Managers of the Metropolitan AAU. He served as meet director of the CTC Championship, and was vice-president of the CCNY Alumni Varsity Association. He is a member of the CCNY Athletic Hall of Fame. Dr. Paullay attended six Olympic Games. In retirement, he enjoyed traveling, painting, reading, playing the piano and guitar, and most important, relished time spent with his wife, his children, and his grandchildren.

  • William J. Murphy ’47

    Mystic - William "Bill" James Murphy of Mystic passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, after a brief illness. Bill was surrounded by his loving family over his final days and moved peacefully into the arms of our Lord. Bill was born to William and Irma Murphy, in Manhattan, N.Y., on Aug. 4, 1924. He graduated from Brooklyn Polytechnic with a degree in chemical engineering in 1947. He was a well-respected engineer and spent his entire career of 40 years with Pfizer Inc, working first in Brooklyn, N.Y. and for most of his career in Groton, with a four-year assignment in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His work was a great source of energy, pride, and long-lasting friendships. He retired as the production manager of organic operations in 1985.

    Bill met the love of his life, Loretta LeBlanc, in New London in 1956. Bill would often recount how they met and how he quickly realized that Loretta was the girl for him. They married in 1957 and had 58 wonderful years together. In addition to Loretta, Bill is survived by his loving children, William Jr. of Stonington, Lynne Ferrigno and her husband, Kevin, of Manchester and Keith and his wife, Michelle, of Stonington. Bill adored his five grandchildren, Patrick, Conor, Matthew, Bryan and Jillian. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Theresa Cuddy; brother-in-law, Robert Coleman; and his many cherished nieces and nephews.

    Although Bill was an only child, he grew up extremely close to his best friend Curt Hoera, who predeceased him. "Uncle" Curt was like a brother to Bill throughout their lives. Bill and Loretta raised their family in Gales Ferry, and enjoyed many summers at "the lake" in a rustic cottage on Lake Lashaway in East Brookfield, Mass. that has been the location for countless family gatherings and activities over the years. They were avid skiers for over 50 years and hosted family ski trips every year. His children will always remember the early morning call to the slopes, "Daylight's Burning!" Bill enjoyed many other activities, including Instant Theatre, bridge, golf, and duck pin bowling. He enjoyed rooting for his sports teams, especially the Giants, Mets, UConn and Notre Dame.

    Bill was very active in his parish, Our Lady of Lourdes, in Gales Ferry. He was the long-time head of the finance committee, a eucharistic minister and he and Loretta were famous for their "Book Booth" fundraiser which they ran for over 20 years as part of the annual church festival. Bill was a founding member and the first president of the Thames Ski Club. He was also a long-time member and a past president of the New London Thames Club. After retiring from Pfizer, Bill worked with the United Way for several years helping to coordinate their annual campaigns

  • James Robert Hamer

    Jim was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather and friend. He graduated from Brooklyn Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, New York where he was born and raised. Upon graduation he married his one true love, Peg and flew to California to begin his career as an engineer at Northrop Corporation. He moved to beautiful San Clemente in 1962 where he raised his three daughters. Jim always loved the ocean, sailing, hiking, and the great outdoors. He especially enjoyed his daily walks on the San Clemente Beach Trail. For several years he also volunteered for the Sea Explorers where he shared his love and passion for sailing. Everyone that knew Jim enjoyed his unique humor, style and zest for life. Jim is survived by his wife, Peg; children, Ginny, Fran and Peggy; son-in-law, Walter; and five grandchildren, Julia, Sean, Chris, Nick and Sarah; as well as his only sister, Fran. 

  • Charles O. Theisen

    THEISEN-Charles (Opa) of Center Moriches, NY, passed away on May 25, 2015. Opa was born the first of two children in New York, NY, the son of the late Leon and Mabel Theisen. Graduating from Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx in 1943, he went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1951. A World War II Army veteran, Opa earned two Bronze Star Medals for outstanding courage and bravery; his actions saved the lives of many in his battalion. After serving, Opa worked as a mechanical engineer - he was a skilled woodworking enthusiast, handyman, and artist. Opa enjoyed boating and the beach, the NY Yankees (most of the time), and had a soft spot for cats. He was a proud and dedicated grandfather, much loved by his children, grandchildren, and all those that knew him. Opa is survived by his wife of almost 69 years, Ann Theisen (Omi, nee Freilinger). He will be greatly missed by his three children (his daughter, Lorraine McLeod of Gardnerville, Nevada, his son, Charles Theisen and his wife Carol of East Moriches, NY, and his son, Kenneth Theisen and his wife Myra of Raleigh, North Carolina), six grandchildren (Cheyenne Dryer, Jessica and Charles Theisen, and Brian, Mark and Thomas Theisen), and one great-grandchild

  • Alvin J. Paullay ’69

    Dr. Alvin J. Paullay, a resident of Tappan, New York since 1968, passed away on Monday, August 03, 2015. He is survived by his loving wife Roberta Paullay, daughter Irina M. Paullay Ph.D., and son-in-law Michael D. Schwalberg Ph.D. of New City, New York, son Steven D. Paullay Esq. and daughter-in-law Allison K. Lowy Esq. of Yorktown Heights, New York, grandchildren Hannah, Matthew, and Ian Schwalberg, and Isabella and Remy Paullay, and Brother Harold Paullay of New York. 

    Alvin J. Paullay was born November 4, 1931, in New York City, New York. He grew up in the Bronx, attended JHS 117, receiving the medal for Excellence in Mathematics at graduation; and the Bronx HS of Science, where he lettered in track and field, and graduated in the upper fourth of the class. He was Scoutmaster of Troop 267, BSA, Bronx, served on Camp Ranachqua staff, and was a member of the Order of the Arrow, WWW. He received a BCE from the City College of New York in 1953, again lettering in Track and Field, an MS in CE from Columbia University in 1958, and a Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1969. He did post-doctoral studies at the University of Southern California, Stanford University, and Courant Institute for Mathematical Science. He was a member of honor fraternities Chi Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Gamma Tau, and Sigma Xi and of professional societies ASCE, AIAA, AAUP, MAA, and the Planetary, and the Mars Societies. He was a licensed professional engineer. 

    Dr. Paullay was employed as an engineer at the Port of New York Authority where he designed an extension to a major runway at Newark Airport to accommodate jet aircrafts and later a structural engineer with the Rocketdyne Corp., Canoga Park, CA, where he was cited for his analysis of engine components on the rocket used in the Mercury Program. He participated in a Hurricane Damage Survey for the firm of TAMS, Engineers, estimating the damage to the City, of New York due to a 15 foot rise in the water level, and made recommendations to minimize the damage. He was a NASA Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena, CA, and again at the NASA-Ames Research Center, Moffitt Field, CA, where his work on the "finite volume method" for solving the equations of shock wave flow was widely recognized. Dr. Paullay was an industrial consultant from 1977 to 1994, working in turbulent jet flow for the Grumman Aerospace Corp., and developing Custom scientific software for the Union Carbide Corporation. He authored or co- authored many important papers in the area of viscous shock waves, computational fluid dynamics, turbulent jet flow, and the fractal nature of metal fracture. He was, for many years, a member of the engineering faculty of the City College of New York, and mathematics faculty of Bronx CC/CUNY, where he introduced the pre-computer science option. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 1995. 

    Throughout his professional life, Dr. Paullay remained active in track and field, coaching at CCNY, and founding and coaching the Bruce TC of New York. He was president of the Metropolitan Track Coaches Association, secretary of the Collegiate Track Conference, and member of the Board of Managers of the Metropolitan AAU. He served as meet director of the CTC Championship, and was vice-president of the CCNY Alumni Varsity Association. He is a member of the CCNY Athletic Hall of Fame. Dr. Paullay attended six Olympic Games. In retirement, he enjoyed traveling, painting, reading, playing the piano and guitar, and most important, relished time spent with his wife, his children, and his grandchildren.

  • Neil M. Poley ’67

    Neil M. Poley ’67

    Neil Myron Poley passed away at home on July 4, 2015, at the age of 80. He was a graduate of Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn with a BS, and SUNY New Paltz with an MA, both in chemical engineering. He put that knowledge to work at IBM for 25 years.

    In his professional pursuits, Mr. Poley earned 13 patents and 6 patent level awards while working for IBM in the areas of display technology and thin film deposition. He also served as the President of Society of Vacuum Coaters, a prestigious post he held for two terms. He won an IBM Outstanding Contribution Award, an honor of very high distinction within the company. He was a member of the American Vacuum Society for 48 years, as well as a member of the Electrochemical Society.Born in Kingston, NY in 1934, Neil was the son of Dr. Philip and Mrs. Ida Poley. He served as a sergeant in the US Army in Korea and Hawaii from 1953-55, and was an active participant in every community in which he lived.

    Neil is survived by his beloved wife, Ruth Gerard Poley, and his two sons Philip and Samuel, their wives Denise and Stephanie, and his grandson Porter. Loved deeply, he set a great example for his children in the ways of loyalty, conviction, curiosity, humor, and generosity. He was a lover of animals, an exceptional cook, and a warm and welcoming host. He was, in short, the quintessential good guy, and will be missed by all who knew him.

  • Kenneth J. Plotkin ’65

    Kenneth J. Plotkin ’65

    Dr. Kenneth J. Plotkin died on Friday, July 17, 2015, after a four-year battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was 70 years old. Born and raised in New York City, Ken grew up in a loving home with his two parents, Moe and Sarah Plotkin, and his two older brothers, Henry and Charles Plotkin. Charles, Ken's twin brother, arrived ten minutes before Ken. Ken attended college at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, where he earned his bachelor's degree, and graduate school at Cornell University, where he earned a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. In April of 1972, he began his incredible career as an acoustician at Wyle Laboratories. Ken worked at Wyle Laboratories for 43 years, rising to the position of Chief Scientist. During his time at Wyle, Ken did important work in the areas of aircraft and highway noise modeling, atmospheric sound propagation, community noise, rocket noise, high-speed fluctuating flow, truck tire noise, psychoacoustics, community noise, noise control, and sonic boom. He became a world renowned expert on sonic boom, a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, and a Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

    In August of 1972, Ken married his wife, Barbara (Zesk) Plotkin, and the two were happily together ever since. Ken and Barbara enjoyed exciting adventures as a couple during the first several years of their marriage, including caving, skiing, and mountain climbing. In 1978, Ken and Barbara decided to embark upon a new kind of exciting adventure, and had a daughter, Sarah (Plotkin) Paul. Ken was a wonderful father to Sarah, and the two of them enjoyed many memorable times, including regularly visiting the duck pond, performing as a duo in tap dancing recitals, and working together to defeat many a computer game. In recent years, Ken had begun to impart his wisdom on his two granddaughters, Sophia and Charlotte Paul, ages 4 and 2, who he loved dearly.

    Not only was Ken a brilliant acoustician and a loving husband, father, and grandfather, he was also a kind-hearted person with a wry sense of humor and a zest for life. Just two months before Ken's death, a United States Congressman arranged for Ken to ride in an SNJ-5 airplane as a thank you for the pro bono analysis that Ken provided of the expected noise levels at the National Mall from a historic aircraft flyover. Ken jubilantly described this airplane ride as the best one he'd ever had. Ken loved cars as well as planes, and was an avid fan of motor racing. Never one to underachieve, Ken went from watching car races to becoming an award-winning editor, reporter, and photographer for Motorsport.com. Ken's success in this area was no surprise to his family and friends, as they all knew that Ken couldn't help but excel in everything that he did.Ken will always be remembered as a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, colleague, and friend. He is survived by his wife Barbara Plotkin; his daughter Sarah Paul; his granddaughters Sophia and Charlotte Paul; and his brothers Henry and Charles Plotkin.