OBITUARY: John Clarence England, Retired Lead Engineer of McDonnell-Douglas Passes Away at Age 90

By  //  August 24, 2021

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Died at his at his home in Rockledge on June 17

John Clarence England passed away peacefully at age 90 on June 17, 2021, at his home in Rockledge, Florida. Born in Abilene, Texas to schoolteachers Byron and Hazel England, he graduated in 1951 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Texas A&M. John served two years in the Army Signal Corps.

BREVARD COUNTY • ROCKLEDGE, FLORIDA – John Clarence England passed away peacefully at age 90 on June 17, 2021, at his home in Rockledge, Florida. Born in Abilene, Texas to schoolteachers Byron and Hazel England, he graduated in 1951 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Texas A&M. John served two years in the Army Signal Corps.

Douglas Aircraft, later McDonnell-Douglas, was his career for 35 years. He was the Lead Engineer on the A4D Skyhawk and worked on other navy aircraft and the commercial DC-8 jetliner.

He was Group Engineer on the Douglas S-IV and S-IVB stages of the Saturn/Apollo moon-landing program and in 1970 he was Mechanical Systems Supervisor on the Delta launch Program.

In 1974 he went to Japan directing Mitsubishi Heavy Industries engineers in preparing and launching the first two Delta-based Japan N-Rockets.

He was the Mechanical Systems Supervisor for processing Space Shuttle payloads at the Kennedy Space Center and in 1981 he was appointed Chief Engineer of the highly classified Air Force Shuttle Payloads program that assembled, fueled, tested, and loaded NSA Satellite Reconnaissance Office payloads on the Space Shuttle and unmanned Titan launch vehicles.

John was a founding member of the Unitarian Universalist Friendship Fellowship in Rockledge where he served over the years as administrator and editor and publisher of their award-winning newsletter well into his 80’s. He also served as president of the McDonnell-Douglas Retirees Association and kept their records into his 80’s.

Motorcycles and cars were his passion. He was a charter member and secretary of Bastards MC. He was a member of Mensa.

John had daughters Heidi and Karin with his first wife and later married Julie, his life’s love, and shared her children Evan and Kara. He had seven grandchildren: Kirsten, Ethan, Lacey, Molly, Ted, Christopher, and Barbara, and one great-grandchild, Kayden.

He was a kind, brilliant and humble person of compassion and honor who believed the purpose of life was to seek happiness. He judged his life as content and immensely fulfilling. He chose his own path, following it past “where it bent in the undergrowth.”

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date at the Friendship Fellowship at Pineda in Rockledge, Florida.

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