Mann, David E. Age 81, passed away Saturday, October 10, 2012 in the Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville, Alabama. He was born March 16, 1931 in Aurora, the son of the late Howard and Florence (DeGerald) Mann. Dave graduated from East Aurora High School in 1949. He played cornet and trumpet in the band and orchestra and was also a member of the Hi-Liters dance band. He graduated from The University of Illinois in 1957 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. While at the U of I he played cornet/trumpet in the "Marching Illini"- the band that played at all football games and at the Rose Bowl when the Illini Football team played. After graduation, Dave worked for Douglas Aircraft Company as a Test Engineer, testing the DC6 over the Pacific Ocean doing many types of "stunts" to test multiple stress factors. He was also stationed at Edwards Airfield in California as a Flight Test Analyst. Dave's military service was at Redstone Arsenal. His first association with Redstone Arsenal was during his time in the Army when he served two years of active duty at the Ordnance Missile Laboratories. Then Dave began his long career with the Department of Defense at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. Dave recalled that one of his first memories upon moving to Huntsville involved the downtown celebration of one of the space milestones attributed to Dr. Werner Von Braun's team. Dave arrived in the "Rocket City" at a pivotal time for space and ballistic missile defense work on a missile guidance concept that was implemented into the Army's lance artillery missile. Dave's expertise in infrared countermeasures enabled the successful insertion of that technology into several Army systems. He worked for many years in support of the Chaparral Project Office and later the Missile Defense Agency's Ground-based Midcourse Defense program. Often his technical assignments required considerable travel away from Huntsville. Dave had 56 years of government service and at the time of his death was one the longest tenured employees in the Army's Aviation & Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. Dave had the highest classification of engineers. While in Huntsville, Dave played trumpet with the Huntsville Civic Orchestra and also with several "dance" bands. Along with his parents, Dave was preceded in death by an aunt, Beatrice DeGerald. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 from 3 P.M. until the service hour of 7 P.M. at The Healy Chapel, 332 W. Downer Place, Aurora, IL 60506. Military honors graveside service will be held on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 10:30 A.M. at River Hills Memorial Park, 1650 S. River St., Batavia, IL. Interment will be at River Hills Memorial Park. For further information please call 630-897-9291 or visit www.healychapel.com to leave an online condolence.
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Published in Beacon News on Nov. 18, 2012