Eugene Hertel

Obituary of Eugene Hertel

Naugatuck - Eugene S Hertel, Sr. passed away on June 21, 2018. He was born August 8, 1923 in Providence, Rhode Island to Frank M. Hertel and Katherine (Stenpek) Hertel. He attended Mount Pleasant High School graduating in 1941 and was elected to the Rhode Island Honor Society.  


He served in the US Army and after basic training was selected for Army Specialized Training Program at Bowdoin College. With the need for men for the invasion of Europe, the program was eliminated and he was sent on maneuvers and then to England. While at Fort Benning, GA he taught a battalion of Medics combat swimming. He landed in Normandy June 8, 1944, two days after the initial surge and served in the European Theater of Operations earning 5 ribbons along with 2 battle stars. In 1946, he was a charter member of the Leonard Wasilewski VFW Post in Providence, RI.


After his service, he graduated from University of Rhode Island in 1950 with a BS in Chemical Engineering, the first in his family to attend college. He was elected to Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Sigma Mu Honorary Engineering Society. He attended graduate school at North Carolina State University, graduating in 1952 with an MS degree in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. He was elected to Sigma Xi, an honorary research society.


He joined Allied Chemical Nitrogen Division in Hopewell, VA in 1952 as research engineer and was involved in the design, construction and startup of chemical plants in Hopewell, South Point, OH and Omaha, NB. While at Allied he was a pioneer in using computers for engineering design calculations and linear programming to optimize plant scheduling for seasonal production.


He joined Uniroyal Chemical Division in 1960, in Naugatuck, CT in Operations Research and later as research engineer. He was involved in the design, construction and startup of a plant in Naugatuck along with other locations in the US. He designed a project management course and started teaching the course to Chemical Division personnel which then led to him teaching the course on the corporate level for other divisions in Uniroyal. While at Uniroyal he developed a real-time computer system to document and monitor research efforts in agricultural chemicals in several US locations and a Canadian location. He also developed a real time computer system to document and monitor capital projects in the various plants in the Division. 


He was on the adjunct faculty of the graduate school at University of New Haven for 22 years in Computer Sciences. Using his expertize with computers he designed a course, Decision Support Systems, to help management make decisions.


While living in Naugatuck, he designed and painted over 400 life-size wooden cut-outs and murals for the Naugatuck Park Department that are still used in seasonal displays. He supported the city of Naugatuck through sustained charitable service as the Transportation Committee Chairman for the Citizen’s Development Action Plan, as a member of the Central Naugatuck Valley Regional Planning Agency and the Inland Wetlands Commission. He was a charter member of Naugatuck Toastmasters Club.


He and his wife Rachel moved to Heritage Village in 1996 where he joined the Computer Club and the woodshop. He taught computer courses at the village and served as program chairman for the computer club.


He and Rachel enjoyed traveling with the US. They took multiple trips to Albuquerque to visit their son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Using Albuquerque as a base, they took side trips to Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, Long Beach, Seattle, Vancouver, San Antonio and Mexico. They enjoyed a cross country train trip from New Haven to Los Angeles with stops in New Orleans, Albuquerque, and Chicago before returning home. They participated in multiple trips with the Heritage Village seniors.


He leaves a loving and caring wife, friend and companion, Rachel, who shared almost 68 joyous years, mother of our two wonderful sons, Dr. Eugene S Hertel, Jr., and daughter in-law, Christine Northrop of Albuquerque, NM, son Richard A. Hertel, and daughter in-law Shellie Hertel of Naugatuck, CT, daughter Barbara of Southbury, five grandchildren, Jessica and Justin Hertel, Jessica and Ryan Salazar, and Zacarie Hertel, and brother Frank Hertel of Wickford, RI, and many nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by sisters Jennie Miele, Bertha Villari, Stasia Bouchard, Helen Lavery, and his daughter-in-law, Dr. Lynn A Hertel.


Services for Mr. Hertel are private and there are no calling hours. The Alderson-Ford Funeral Home of Naugatuck, 201 Meadow Street, is in charge of arrangements. A military memorial service will be held at the cemetery at the convenience of the family.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to “American Warrior, P.O. Box 337, 35 Main St., Versailles, CT 06383”. The American Warrior program sponsors free trips for the rapidly diminishing number of WWII veterans to visit the WWII Memorial, Air Force, Navy, and Marine sites in Washington, DC.

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