Dr. Frank Donald Stull
August 11, 1931 – August 9, 2019
Dr. Frank Donald “Don” Stull, age 87, of Boca Raton, Florida passed August 9, 2019 after a courageous two year battle with prostate cancer and recurring pneumonia.
Don was born in Olean, New York, August 11, 1931 to Frank D. Stull and Amelia Catherine Wagner Stull. He was an only child but surrounded by many loving aunts, uncles and first cousins in the Olean area, all of which have predeceased him. He became interested in math and science during his early school years and received a four year Alumni Scholarship to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He enrolled in the Air Force ROTC program his freshman year and was a member of Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Xi. He graduated from Rensselaer with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1953 and received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force. After graduation, he joined Westinghouse Electric as an engineer in the Management Training program. After nearly a year he was called to active duty and assigned to Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) as a test engineer providing in-house experimental support for the General Electric Aircraft nuclear propulsion program. Upon serving his two years of active duty at WPAFB he stayed on as a civilian project engineer in the Propulsion Laboratory conducting analytic studies for the nuclear ramjet (PLUTO) and nuclear rocket (ROVER) programs. He was selected by the Propulsion Laboratory to attend the Oak Ridge School of Reactor Technology in 1958 and upon returning to the Propulsion Laboratory was promoted to Group Leader with the Electro-Jet Nuclear Branch, responsible for the development of electric thrust devices for the Air Force.
After a two year tour with the Atomic Energy Commission in Cincinnati, Ohio, Don returned to the Propulsion Laboratory in 1962 as Assistant Chief of the Ramjet Component Branch conducting analytic studies on scramjet propulsion for the original Aerospace Plane program, and went on to obtain his MS Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1959 and his PhD Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1972, both from Ohio State University. During his career he served as Chief of the Ramjet Technology Branch, Research Specialist for the Ramjet Engine Division and Technical Advisor to the Advanced Propulsion Division. He made significant contributions in the 6.1 and 6.2 ramjet/scramjet field including such projects as the dual-mode scramjet, dump combustors, swirl combustors, combustor pressure oscillations in ramjet engines and the successful ramjet powered missile, ASALM, and flight test program. In 1985 Dr. Stull was detailed to work on the DARPA Copper Canyon program which eventually led to the National Aerospace Plane program (NASP). Additionally he led the computational fluid dynamics effort in analyzing hypersonic propulsion systems and was a member of the NASP High Speed IPT Team. Upon retiring in 1994 after 40 years, Dr. Stull joined the Universal Technology Corporation, working as a consultant in the area of hypersonic propulsion for an additional 12 years.
During his career, Dr. Stull served on many high-level national and international panels and committees as a recognized ramjet/scramjet propulsion expert. He collaborated with many international scientists and engineers which led to numerous international trips including Germany, Russia and Australia. In 1998 he was awarded the Bondarjuk Medal by the Russian Federation of Aerosport in commemoration of the 90th birthday of M.M. Bondarjuk, the esteemed Russian Chief Designer of Ramjets for Dr. Stull’s significant contribution to ram/scramjets research and international collaboration. Additional awards include Co-Winner of the First AFADL S.D. Heron Award in 1964, Co-Inventor of the “Dual Mode Supersonic Combustion Ramjet Engine” in 1972, Outstanding Professional Achievement Award by the Engineering & Sciences Foundation of Dayton in 1976, the NASA Group Achievement Award in 1991, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Lifelong Member Service Award for 50 years of sustained contribution to the Advancement of the Art, Science and Technology of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Lifelong Support of the Aerospace Profession in 2011 in West Palm Beach, FL.
Don met his wife Marjorie Lou Harnish while on active duty at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. They were married May 14, 1955 at the Chapel at Wright Patterson with a reception at the Officers Club. Don is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Marjorie; his three daughters, Linda Stull Murphy and her husband Chris (Atlanta), Debra Stull Alpern and her husband Ed, and Sherry Stull Klein and her husband Eric (Boca Raton, FL); and his four grandchildren, Dr. Jennifer Michelle Murphy and her husband Michael Ferrie (Madison, NJ), Elizabeth Christine Murphy (Atlanta), Jacob Phillip Alpern and Justin Donald Alpern .
Don enjoyed his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes, ballroom dancing with Marjorie and travelling the world both professionally and leisurely. Favorite travels included many cruises to nearly all of the Caribbean islands, the Panama Canal, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea as well as many land trips to Europe, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and Hawaii. Don was an avid singles and doubles tennis player and enjoyed frequent walks.
Don was an active member of St. Francis Catholic Church in Dayton, Ohio serving as an usher and member of the Family Forum before retiring to South Florida in 2007 with Marjorie to be near his daughter Sherry. He and Marjorie are members of St. John’s Catholic Church in Boca Raton, FL. A Funeral Mass will be held 10:30 am Friday, August 23rd at St. John’s Catholic Church in Boca Raton, FL followed by a 1:00 pm inurnment at the National Cemetery in Lake Worth, FL.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations may be made in memory of Don Stull to the Rheumatology Research Foundation online at www.rheumresearch.org or sent to 2200 Lake Boulevard NE, Atlanta, GA 30319.
- Marjorie Stull, Wife
- Sherry Stull Klein, Daughter
- Eric Klein, Son-in-law
- Linda Stull Murphy, Daughter
- Chris L. Murphy, Son-in-law
- Debra Stull Alpern, Daughter
- Edward Alpern, Son-in-law
- Dr. Jennifer Michelle Murphy, Granddaughter
- Michael Ferrie, Grandson-in-law
- Elizabeth Christine Murphy, Granddaughter
- Jacob Phillip Alpern, Grandson
- Justin Donald Alpern, Grandson
- Smokey Klein, Furry Friend
- Memorial Service Friday, August 23, 2019
- Committal Service Friday, August 23, 2019
Dr. Frank Donald Stull
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August 21, 2019
Debbie, Sherry, Linda, Mrs. Stull, and all extended family..., I regret not being able to attend Mr. Stull's service, but will certainly be holding you in my prayers and remembering him with fondness of the many times I was with him with you over the years. What a kind, gracious man whose professional achievements were many, yet superceded by the love he showed to his family and others. I know you will miss him terribly. Know that I will be thinking of you with love during your time of sadness. You have lost a wonderful man, but you'll never lose all the memories of him...Barb Turner
August 15, 2019
Don was truly a wonderful person..He always had a smile for all who met him..Steve and I got to know the Stull’s when they lived here in Vitalia. Don was such a devoted husband to his loving wife Margie.
We will remember him as a humble warm soul who brought joy to the lives of those around him... Kathy and Steve Simon💐
August 15, 2019
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. May the Lord bring comfort to your sadness. Tom & Karen Agostino