Aug. 4, 1921 – Nov. 25, 2012
Edward J. Zajac, a retired engineer, died Sunday at his home in Elma. He was 91.
Born in Lackawanna, he served in the Navy from 1942 through 1945, with tours of duty in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. He also participated in the D-Day offensive in June 1944.
Mr. Zajac earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Buffalo. He designed the tire testing machine for Calspan Corp. and was responsible for its construction at Calspan in the 1970s.
As a design engineer at GEMCOR, Mr. Zajac developed the machinery that constructed the external booster rockets for the space shuttle program.
At Niagara Machine & Tool, where he was a project engineer, Mr. Zajac designed and led the development of pneumatic and hydraulic presses for the automotive and appliance industries. He retired in 1989.
Mr. Zajac was an active member of the Villa Maria School of Music Association in the 1960s and 1970s, and served as its vice president for many years.
He also was an involved member of the Elma Seniors and St. Gabriel Catholic Church seniors organization, having served as vice president.
Mr. Zajac crafted pine cone Christmas trees and other Christmas crafts made of wood and pine cones. He regularly took part in the Quaker Arts Festival and other local craft shows.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Stella Antoszek Zajac; a son, Daniel J.; and a daughter, Annette M. Wojtowicz
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in St. Gabriel Catholic Church, 5271 Clinton St., Elma.