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Russ Monroe, EN2
Monroe, George, PO3.
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Home Town Northfield, New Jersey
Last Address Poughkeepsie, New York
Date of Passing Jul 24, 2007
Location of Interment Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates Not Specified
Last Known Activity
Systems Designer for IBM from '55 to '83.
My Dad died on the morning of July 24th 2007, sitting at his picnic table in his yard in Poughkeepsie, New York. He was 80.
George R. Monroe was born on February 3rd in 1927. He was the very embodiment of the Greatest Generation. As a boy in Northfield, New Jersey he already had a love for, and an uncommon understanding of, the miracle gadgetry of radio. He also had an amazing Morse "fist" by the time he was a teenager.
He served as a radio operator on a minesweeper (USS YMS 330) in the Sea of Japan, among other places. After the war he went back to sea in the summers as a radio operator on Sun Oil tankers to augment the GI bill for his RPI education. A member of engineering's oldest honor society, Tau Beta Pi, he went to work for IBM as a Systems Designer.
He was part of IBM in it's most exciting, innovative era. A time he dearly loved.
He served as development manager on the first solid state computer after Bell Labs invented the transistor in the mid fifties. The system, IBM's massive 7090 mainframe unveiled in 1958, was the cornerstone of one of our country's first early warning systems, BMEWS, and was indispensable to NASA in it's quest to put a man on the moon.
In 1957 Dad, along with his two invention partners Carl Christiansen and Larry Kanter, gave IBM the Data Synchronizer (US3812475). By the time all it's challenges were cleared in 1974 it became one of the most important patents in IBM's history.
Dad struggled back to full speed after a series of strokes in the early eighties, using his CW (Morse Code) skills to put the life and coordination back into his hands and mind.
He had incredible grit, astounding perception, and a depth of character I fear I will never see again. As an adventurer he mastered the air and the sea. He was a husband and father who knew when to be tough when it was needed, when to be patient when it was called for, and when to stay calm when everyone else was in a panic. He could always see right through humanity's affectations to find the core of what was real, and the essence of what mattered. I can't count how many times he helped me keep both my feet on the ground, while at the same time, teaching me to fly in every way that matters.
He leaves behind Elaine Faith, his wife of 57 years, Susan Elaine, his loving daughter, and Russell William, his grateful son.