Date of BirthFebruary 04, 1927

Donald Joseph Povejsil Obituary

Date of BirthFebruary 04, 1927

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Date of DeathJanuary 08, 2017

Donald Joseph Povejsil Obituary

from pittsburgh, Florida, United States

Donald Joseph PovejsilNaples, FL1927-2017Donald Joseph Povejsil died at home in the early morning of July 8, 2017. He was born on February 3, 1927 in Shaker Heights, Ohio to James and Alice Povejsil. Don's loving and meaningful life centered on his family, work and communities. He was married to the love of his life, Dorsey, for 60 years until her passing in 2009. He celebrated his 90th birthday this year in the company of his children, grandchildren, great-granddaughter and their spouses and partners. Don was fourteen years old when the country went to war following Pearl Harbor and patriotically attempted to enlist as a 15-year old. His second attempt to enlist succeeded when he was17 and he reported for duty to become a navy pilot. The Navy sent him to Oberlin College and then to the University of Wisconsin at Madison to prepare him to become a deck officer. While he was still in college, the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Don observed that, as a result, he might actually live to see age twenty. Indeed the war was over before he could be deployed into combat, and at the advanced age of nineteen, Don was a college mathematics instructor to many returning veterans. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1948 with a BS in naval science, got married to Dorsey, and went on to earn an MS in electrical engineering.Don started working for Westinghouse while he was in college, and after graduation Westinghouse sent him to Pittsburgh, PA. When the Korean War broke out, he transferred to Baltimore to work on technologies for autopilot and airborne radar, co-authoring a book "Airborne Radar: Principles of Guided Missile Design." Those early technology challenges foretold his eventual career focus on solving complex system problems. Don worked at Westinghouse for almost forty years, mostly in Pittsburgh. He ran the research labs, built the nuclear fuel division from a start-up to industry dominance, headed the large turbine division in Lester, PA., negotiated Westinghouse's labor contracts as vice president for personnel and administration, and spent his last decade as Westinghouse's top strategic planner. Don retired from Westinghouse in 1987, a status that lasted mere weeks before he launched an international consulting practice in partnership with his son, Jim. When Don retired for real in 1993, he and Dorsey decided to live fulltime in Litchfield Park, Arizona, where they had resided part time since 1986. Don was a leader in community activities throughout his professional life and retirement. In the 1960's, he was one of the drivers to build a library in the new suburb of Monroeville, PA – a surprisingly controversial advocacy that caused a no-new-taxes opponent to spit on him at Monroeville's Miracle Mile shopping center. The library did get built and serves that community to this day, leaving a legacy of Don's love of books, reading, ideas, and self-edification. He championed opportunities for young people through involvement in Junior Achievement, and supported the cultural arts through the Pittsburgh Ballet and Symphony. Later he provided bold and principled leadership for Magee Women's Hospital and the Pittsburgh Blood Bank as those institutions wrestled with their responsibilities in times of seismic social change. In Arizona, Don and Dorsey worked to enrich community cultural life through the West Valley Fine Arts Council and the Phoenix Ballet. Don and Dorsey developed a deep commitment to their church, St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Litchfield Park, where they found a welcoming community of faith.Don was predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Dorsey Biddick Povejsil, his son, John C. Povejsil, his sister, Polly Povejsil Schmahl, and his brother, James H. Povejsil. He leaves his daughters Alice, Polly (Tom), and Katie (Bill) and his son Jim (Carmen), nine grandchildren (Ben, Phoebe, Polly, Tyler, Elise, Alex, Bruno, Max and Nora), and his great granddaughter Alice, who carries that family name into a new generation.A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 2, 2017, at 11 am St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Litchfield Park, AZ. Condolences to the family and be left at www.ThompsonFuneralChapel.com.