PAUL's Story

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Paul Alvin Svejkovsky, 78, of Rockwall passed away Aug. 20, 2014, in Rockwall.
He was born Dec. 7, 1935, in Oklahoma City, Okla., to William and Olga Elizabeth (Swanda) Svejkovsky. Paul was the middle of three boys in the family and grew up on the family farm in Oklahoma City where he, along with his brothers, helped to work the farm land. As a boy he loved to hunt and fish, and he was very active in 4-H work, one year entering his calf in the American Royal. Paul loved to bird hunt and was fortunate to be able to do that with his close friends and relatives. He was later able to travel twice to Argentina with his son Blake and nephew David for some wonderful dove hunting. Paul’s ingenuity and engineering capabilities found him most often in his machine shop at home, designing and making parts for things on his lathes and milling machine. He loved sharing his knowledge and his shop equipment with family, friends and neighbors.
Paul graduated from Yukon High School in 1953, and graduated from Oklahoma University in 1958 with a degree in mechanical engineering, and later obtained his master’s degree from OU in 1968. Upon graduation from Senior ROTC at OU, 2nd Lt. Paul was assigned to the 4982 USAR Control Group (Reinf) Oklahoma in June 1958. He received his basic training in the U.S. Army Ordinance School, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., as a second lieutenant.
Paul worked at Tinker AFB, Midwest City, Okla., as a mechanical engineer, where he met his wife to be, Karen Sue Fitzgerald. They married Oct. 21, 1961, when his reserve unit was called to active duty to Ft. Chaffee, Ark., during the Berlin Crisis. Here he rose in rank to first lieutenant. Paul and Sue began their life together near Ft. Chaffee in Lavaca, Ark. Upon discharge from active duty, Paul returned to his work at Tinker AFB and he and Sue lived on the family farm in Oklahoma City, where their first child, Paul Blake Svejkovsky, was born in 1962. Paul remained in the Army Reserve and rose in rank to captain.
In 1964, Paul, Sue and Blake moved to Clear Lake City, Texas, where Paul began his career with NASA. Their second child, Karen Elaine, was born there in 1965. The family later moved to Friendswood in 1977. Paul retired from NASA in 1983, and subsequently was hired by Lockheed, contractor to NASA, and was with them for 10 years before final retirement in 1994. The couple purchased a farm in Leon County in 1971, and retired there in 1994. Their son Blake graduated from Texas A&M in 1985. Their daughter Karen graduated from Baylor University in 1986, and subsequently from Baylor College of Dentistry in 1990. Paul and Sue moved to Rockwall in 2006, to be closer to their children and four grandchildren.
Paul was a brilliant engineer who holds 28 patents. Among these are a drive mechanism for a Linear Motion Conveyor and others relating to that. He was an inventor on the DeBakey/NASA heartpump (Rotary Blood Pump Ventricular Assist Device) patent, which was awarded Commercial Invention of the Year in 2002, and related to that Paul was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame. In 1990, Paul was awarded Lockheed’s highest engineering award, The Robert E. Gross Award for Technical Excellence, Engineer/Scientist of the Year for his outstanding accomplishments in designing, developing and testing the innovative and practical mechanical systems both for space flight applications and for medical research.
Paul is survived by his faithful and loving wife, Sue; son Paul Blake and wife Lisa and their daughter Morgan; daughter Karen and husband Bruce, her daughter Katie, son Grant and their youngest son, Reid; brother Donald Lee Svejkovsky and wife Mary Jane; nephews David Svejkovsky, Scott Fitzgerald and Billy Fitzgerald; nieces Janet Dorrell, Kathy Phillips, Kathy Taylor and Janet Pastarello; and many great-nieces and nephews.   
He was preceded in death by his parents and by one brother and sister-in-law: Billy Ray and Marillyn Svejkovsky.
Paul was a wonderful, faithful husband, father and grandfather who recently made a profession of faith, leaving himself, his family and friends with such peace about his passing. They will all miss him but are overjoyed that they will all see him again in that glorious heaven God has prepared for us.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m., Aug. 23, in the M.L. Jones Chapel at First Baptist Church, 610 S. Goliad, Rockwall, with Pastor Steve Swofford officiating.
The family will receive friends Friday evening at Rest Haven Funeral Home-Rockwall Chapel from 6 to 8 p.m.
The Svejkovsky family requests that any memorials be made to Mission Waco Wellspring Scholarship Fund. Donations should be sent with the notation “In Memory of Paul Svejkovsky” to Mission Waco,1315 N. 15th Street, Waco, TX 76707.
Online condolences may be made at www.resthavenfuneral.com and www.rockwallheraldbanner.com.
Published on  August 22, 2014
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