Christopher Carl

August 7, 1938February 26, 2021


Christopher Carl, 82, of Irvine, CA died February 26, 2021 at Saddleback Memorial Hospital from complications of a stroke.

Chris was born on August 7, 1938 in New Rochelle NY. He was the son of George H. Carl, Sr. and Jane Curll Carl. The family lived in Larchmont, NY where Chris attended Mamaroneck High School. There he won the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award. He then went on to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduating in 1960 with a BSEE degree. He later went on to earn his MSEE from the University of Southern California in 1966.

In 1961 Chris moved to Southern California to work at his first job at Autonetics, Division of North American Aviation. He remained there until 1963. After Autonetics, Chris worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 35 years. Chris developed communicaitons gear that flew in Mars orbit (Viking), to the Sun (Helios), and on Voyager. The rest of Chris’ career was in management. He went from group supervisor, to section manager, to deputy division manager and finally, to Manager of the Information Systems Development and Operations Division. He retired in 1998 from JPL, receiving NASA’S Outstanding Leadership Medal.

On June 22, 1974, Chris married Gertrude who me met while on detail to NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C . They have one daughter, Jennifer.

In retirement, Chris had many interests including American History (focusing on the colonial, Civil War and WWII periods), building precision models of WWII planes and ships, travel (five round trips across the United States by car) and playing tennis. He had a great interest in classical music and its history. Chris also interviewed local high school seniors for MIT as part of the application process. He loved good food and wine and trying out new restaurants with friends.

With all Chris’ achievements, his greatest love was his family. He leaves behind his wife Gertrude of 46 years, his daughter Jennifer and her husband Dr. Michael Louie and his three grandchildren Lauren, Nathan and Isabel. They were his pride and joy.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wounded Warriors Project.

The memorial service will be live-streamed. More information and link to come.


12 April

Christopher Carl Memorial

10:00 am - 11:00 am

Legacy Chapel

1702 Fairhaven Ave
Santa Ana, CA 92705-6821

12 April

Christopher Carl Graveside

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

P Lawn Lot 172 Sp-5

1702 Fairhaven Ave
Santa Ana, CA 92705-6821


Christopher Carl

have a memory or condolence to add?

Linda Allison

April 7, 2021

I bowled with Gert for many years and when she held a bowling luncheon at her home, Chris was very gracious and friendly to all of Gert's bowling buddies.
What a loss of such a brilliant man and wonderful family man. Gert did not brag enough.

Linda & Norm Belecki

April 7, 2021

We were devastated to learn of Chris’ passing. Gert and Chris are our extended family. We met him when he and Gert started dating, while both were working at NASA Headquarters.
Chris had a great appreciation for good food and wine and especially enjoyed a good sauce on whatever was being served. They introduced us to many wonderful restaurants before moving back to the West coast. Once they had a family, they were able to keep date night.That was very special.
We have visited back and forth over the years, always picking up where we left off. When we were in Oregon several years ago keeping up with our grandchildren, Gert & Chris drove up and we spent a few fun days together sightseeing, eating out and keeping up with the little ones. Our most recent visit to California was in December of 2018 and as usual, good friends, good food & wine. A time together that we will always treasure.
We have been blessed in getting to meet a large number of amazing people over the years. Chris was one of them—extremely intelligent as reflected in his professional career and his broad range of interests. In retirement, one of his avocations was that of creating scale models. His pièce de résistance was a precisely scaled model of a light cruiser taking aboard the crew members from a U.S. carrier after the latter was hit by Japanese bombers in WW II. He was a master of detail!
It is very difficult to lose such a good friend, and our hearts go out to Gert, Jennifer, and the Louie family!

Brian Stein

April 5, 2021

Chris and I used to go to the Olde Ship in Fullerton once a month before Covid struck. His favorite was Bangers and Mash with extra gravy. The waitress new his order and always remembered the extra gravy. I will certainly miss my monthly dinner with Chris and our conversations about England and model boats.

His work on his models was impeccable and he will be sorely missed by all. My condolences to the family.