American Veteran 01

Ernest Harold Stockhoff

April 13, 1930 ~ October 27, 2021 (age 91)


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Ernest Harold Stockhoff, formerly of Chester Springs, PA, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 27 2021, at the Cedar Ridge Care Center in Cedar Park, TX. He was the son of the late Ernest John Stockhoff and Caroline Emma Staake of Queens, NY, and the loving husband of 63 years to Janet Fox Stockhoff.

Ernest was born in Brooklyn, NY, graduating from John Adams High School where he enjoyed mathematics, physics, chemistry, and French. After earning a BS degree in physics at Queens College, Ernest took summer jobs at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C. and Boulder, CO.

In the fall of 1951, Ernest enrolled in the physics graduate program at the University of Buffalo. It was there that Ernest met Janet Fox, the love of his life, when he audited a German 101 class she was teaching as a graduate assistant. They were married in July, 1957, with a brief honeymoon in Findley Lake, NY.

After completing his Master’s, Ernest was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1955 and was stationed at Fort Knox, KY, for basic training, then Fort Dietrich, MD, where he maintained weather instruments until his 1957 honorable discharge as a Private First Class. He began a career at the Missile and Space Department of General Electric outside Philadelphia, where he worked on instrumentation for ICBM reentry nose cones, actuators for satellite solar paddles, molecular beam measurement, experimental devices for NASA, and remote sensing. He also designed deployment devices for satellites, a lunar module cosmic ray detector used on Apollo 16, and a waste control system installed in the International Space Station. Ernest retired from GE Aerospace in 1991.

As a child growing up in Queens, NY, Ernest enjoyed going to movies, listening to the radio, and bicycle riding around the neighborhood. After marriage, a move to a new home in Chester Springs, PA, and three children he took on other pastimes and projects. These included playing the recorder, reading French, German, and technical Russian, designing and building screen houses, defending bird feeders from squirrels, wine making (briefly), application of energy physics to construction of a balsa wood marble roller coaster. And he was always willing to play chess, card games, and board games.

He and his wife Janet enjoyed traveling to Canada and Germany with family, and later to France and Britain.

Ernest also was able to travel on business trips, e.g., to Huntsville, AL for satellite launches, Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, and Canada and the Bahamas for remote sensing observations.

Ernest was a longtime member of Central Presbyterian Church, Downingtown, PA, where he was an active member, for example, volunteering to record Sunday church services for those unable to attend in person. As a lifelong supporter of the civil rights movement, he and the family hosted several children through the Fresh Air Fund that seeks to give disadvantaged New York City kids new environments and experiences. After retirement, Ernest volunteered for the Meals on Wheels program, providing meals to the elderly and others in need of assistance.

Ernest’s memory lives on in his brother Ronald Conrad Stockhoff; children, Cynthia Marie Stockhoff Leyendecker (Bob), David Alan Stockhoff (Christina), and Brian Andrew Stockhoff (Isabel); grandchildren Cullen and Avery Stockhoff, Kate and Kara Leyendecker, and Amelia Stockhoff. Ernest was preceded in death by his wife Janet Fox Stockhoff, and his brother Kenneth Charles Stockhoff.

In lieu of flowers donations In Ernest's honor can be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association.


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