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Frank M. Van Sickle, age 98, a native of Cardington, Ohio, and a resident of Westerville, OH since 2007, died on October 6, 2018. He was born January 20, 1920, the son of the late Frank O. Van Sickle and Elsie Smith Van Sickle. Preceding him in death were his sister Gertrude "Trudy" Clapper, his brother, Robert Van Sickle, and his wife, Mary Jane Van Sickle, who recently passed on September 16, 2018. Survivors include his two daughters, Gretchen (Michael) Cochran and Heidi (Bob) Buhl. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Amy Cochran, Laura Cavanaugh, Robin Knezevich, and Scott Buhl, three great grandchildren, Michael, Katie, and Ryan Cavanaugh of Westerville, sister-in-law, Mary Faye Van Sickle and three generations of nephews, nieces, and extended family members in the Ohio area.
Following his graduation as a science major from Otterbein University and trained in meteorology at Boeing School of Aeronautics, he worked in the aerospace field, starting as a civil airlines meteorologist in WWII based at National Airport in Washington D.C. as ordered by the Army Air Corp and ending as a chief engineer in the Space Program in New Orleans LA, having recruited, organized, and managed large groups of specialists in technical writing, illustrating, publishing, laboratory and space photography, scientific computer programming, engineering data processing, and logistical engineering for Chrysler Corporation Missile and Space Divisions in support of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and NASA.
He was member of the Chrysler ground support teams that worked on the booster for the first US Satellite in 1958, lifted astronaut Alan Shepard into America's first space flight in a MERCURY capsule in 1961, built a series of SATURN boosters as predecessors to the landing of astronauts on the moon, that launched the SKYLAB on its space related experimental missions, and in 1975 boosted the US APOLLO spacecraft to join its Russian counter-part in the APOLLO–SOYUZ vehicle test project.
He was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Otterbein University in 1967, and named Distinguished Alumnus in 1981. Following his retirement, he was a Realtor in St. Tammany parish, LA, a resident of the Covington/Mandeville area for 45 years where he was active in technical societies, the Methodist Church and many performing arts and choral groups. Since moving to Ohio he has been a member of the New Albany United Methodist Church. He will be inurned in the Otterbein Cemetery, Westerville, OH.