Francis Thomas Grubelich
December 2, 1928 – December 30, 2019
Francis Grubelich, 91, of Wethersfield, passed away surrounded by his loving family on Dec. 30, 2019. He was the husband of Claudette (Belliveau) Grubelich for 68 years, and was born in Hartford Dec. 2, 1928. He played basketball for Wethersfield Public High School, graduated in 1946 and later played for UConn from 1948-1949. Frank lived at the Sigma Chi Fraternity House and graduated from UConn with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1951. After graduation he joined the Navy Dept. and went to the Submarine Base in Kittery, ME to work on submarines. In 1952 he transferred to the Underwater Sound Laboratory in New London. In 1955 he returned to UConn to pursue a career in Nuclear Engineering. In 1956 he left the Navy Dept. and joined Combustion Engineering, Windsor to work on a Navy contract and establish himself as a pioneer in working on the design of the first reactor prototype for nuclear powered submarines. He filed numerous patents for his inventions and was responsible for the assembly of the nuclear reactor for the submarine USS Tullibee, a “state of the art” submarine, the first atomic submarine equipped with SONAR and the first to have torpedo tubes amid ships. He was a guest at its launching in April 27, 1960. After the Navy contract he switched to designing nuclear reactors for commercial power plants throughout the country. Following the decline in new construction of nuclear power plants, he returned to the Navy Dept. working for NAVSEA in Crystal City, VA in 1985. In 2000 he transferred to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Rockville, MD, where he focused on developing the code system for mechanical engineering. Frank was a charter member of the Pine Acres Swim and Tennis Club in Wethersfield, a founding member of the Church of the Incarnation and a Boy Scout volunteer for Troop 85. He was an avid fisherman and regularly visited Cape Hatteras, NC to fish. In the winter months, he played tennis at Longboat Key, FL. Besides his wife Claudette, whom he met while they were students at UConn, he leaves a son Dr. Francis Grubelich, wife Dr. Heidi Gjersoe of Richland, MI, a son Thomas Grubelich, wife Dr. Marti Rothe of Farmington, CT and a daughter Gail Jacobson, husband John, of Greensboro NC as well as nine grandchildren, a son-in-law, Dr. Herbert Freiman and numerous nieces and nephews. Frank was predeceased by his parents Frank and Anna (Coca) Grubelich, sisters, Eve Abbate, Clair DePaolis and Lorraine Berggren and daughters Dr. Lee (Grubelich) Freiman and Sarah Grubelich. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, January 6, 2020 at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Incarnation, 544 Prospect Street, Wethersfield. Everyone is asked to meet directly at the church. Burial will follow in Village Cemetery, Wethersfield. There will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, donations in Frank’s name may be made to the A-T Children’s Project, 5300 W. Hillsboro Blvd. #105, Coconut Creek, FL 33073. For online expressions of sympathy to the family, please visit www.desopofuneralchapel.com.
- Mass of Christian Burial Monday, January 6, 2020
- Burial Monday, January 6, 2020
Francis Thomas Grubelich
EJ Martel III
January 5, 2020
I'm so sorry to hear about Mr Grubelich. I have fond memories of looking through telescopes on Dudley Road with you, Franny, & your dad coming out and spending time talking about the stars, etc. I also joined the boy scouts because of you & your dad all those 50 years ago. Many good memories camping out on Back Lane and cooking by the campfires. I'll miss your dad!