July 13, 1926 - Sept. 3, 2012
Carl J. Stengel Jr., a decorated World War II U.S. Army veteran who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, died Monday in Seneca Manor Nursing Facility after a lengthy illness. He was 86.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Stengel graduated from McKinley Vocational High School before heading overseas to the war in Europe. He served in the 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, 1st Company, 1st Battalion, 41st Armory Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Armored Division, a unit that was known as "Hell on Wheels."
The unit battled through a bitter winter with the most intense snowfall Europe had witnessed in years.
In 1945, Mr. Stengel was shot and wounded by enemy fire during a battle in Belgium that took the lives of three other soldiers in his unit.
Nerves in his right arm had been severed, and he spent nearly two years recuperating. He spent months learning how to write again with his right hand.
Mr. Stengel was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and the European Campaign Medal with two battle stars.
He attended Canisius College and the University of Buffalo, laying the foundation for a successful career as an electrical engineer.
He helped to develop components for NASA at Sylvania Electronics in the 1960s.
He later became an instructor and chairman of the computer technology department at Erie Community College's South Campus. Earlier this year, he was an honoree at an ECC South ceremony honoring veterans.
Mr. Stengel sang in church choirs since he was 10 years old. He was active in 14 Holy Helpers Catholic Church in Gardenville for more than 50 years.
He was a past president of the Holy Name Society and a choir member.
He was also an avid gardener.
He was the widower of Marie Kilcoyne Stengel.
He is survived by a daughter, Mary Theresa Stengel; two brothers, the Rev. Paul and James; and a sister, Sister Carleen Marie, of the Franciscan sisters.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date.